Kimble V. Marvel — A Tangled Web Of Patent Licensing

Law360, New York (January 15, 2015, 10:17 AM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to Stephen Kimble, an inventor of a Spider-Man-type toy covered by U.S. Patent No. 5,072,856, thus opening the door to review of its holdings in Brulotte, where the court held that royalty agreements projecting payments beyond the expiration date of a patent are unlawful per se patent misuse. Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U.S. 29 (1964).

Kimble’s petition arose from a breach of contract claim for a settlement agreement between Kimble and Marvel Enterprises Inc. (from a prior litigation). Under the settlement agreement, Kimble assigned his patent and also conveyed other unpatented intellectual property...

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