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US court rules for Marvel in Spider-Man toy dispute


Washington: US Supreme Court justice has taken into account of several comic book superhero references during a ruling involving a Spider-Man toy. The court has

decided to favor the entertainment company Marvel in its legal battle with an inventor (Stephen Kimble) of a web-shooting toy, over royalty payments for expired patents. In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court has ruled against the toy inventor who had been in demand of royalties from M/S Marvel Entertainment for his popular “web blaster” design, even though the patent of the same has already been expired. Inventor Stephen Kimble had a deal with Marvel Entertainment for the sales of a toy called the “web blaster,” which Kimble had patented. The toy had been allowing the user to shoot webs (or pressurized foam string) from the palm of the users. The company had purchased Kimble’s patent in exchange for a lump sum plus 3 percent royalty in future sales. It was in the year 2001 that Mr Kimble sold a patent on the toy to the entertainment company, with an agreement that he would receive royalty payments. Then, however, Marvel discovered the Brulotte case and realized that it could stop paying Kimble as its patent is being expired. The case centered on an agreement between Stephen Kimble, who patented the toy and Marvel, which bought Kimble’s patent and agreed to pay him a 3% royalty on all sales of such a toy. There was no end date to this agreement, Kagan wrote, slipping in a reference to the theme song of the 1960s “Spider-Man” cartoon series. The issue was whether Marvel should continue paying royalties to the toy’s inventor after a patent on the toy expired in 2010. Once the patent expired, Marvel stopped payments, citing the high court’s ruling in the By citing the1964 case known as Brulotte v Thys Co, the high ruled that Marvel can stop its payments if the patent has been expired Mr Kimble then argued that the court should over rule its previous decision which said royalties generally shouldn’t be paid after patents expire. Justice Kagan acknowledged that the court can overturn its own illustrations, but said that the justices should exercise on respective authority economically. Mr Kimble has already earned more than $6m (£3,789,409) as royalty fees for the toy from Marvel.   Video on Spiderman toy