Judge to Boehringer Patent Lawyer: You Were Just a Peon - and Therefore You Win This Case

Last Updated Sep 4, 2009 6:10 PM EDT

It's official: If you're the chief patent counsel at Boehringer Ingelheim, then you do not occupy a position of "great corporate influence," according to a Connecticut federal judge. Law.com:
U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant ruled on Aug. 27 that Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by forcing Robert Raymond, chief patent counsel and vice president for intellectual property, to retire at age 65 in 2004.
Mandatory retirement policies are allowed as exceptions to anti-age discrimination laws if they apply only to top executives who are actually policymakers. Patent counsels do important work, the judge said, but they don't steer the ship:
The position was not one of great corporate influence.
By belittling Raymond, the judge handed him a victory. He wins back-pay up until 2006. No sum was calculated for the award.