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Justices Look Ready To Keep Expired-Patent Royalty Ban

Law360, New York (March 31, 2015, 8:48 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court looked poised Tuesday to leave intact a 50-year-old rule barring royalty agreements that continue after a patent expires, with several justices saying they saw little reason to disturb the long-standing precedent in a suit over a defunct Spider-Man patent.

The high court heard oral arguments in a case over a licensing dispute between inventor Stephen Kimble, who holds a now-expired patent on a Spider-Man toy, and Marvel Enterprises Inc., which holds the rights to the superhero character. The justices appeared unpersuaded by Kimble's argument that the ban has outlived its usefulness.

Kimble's attorney Roman Melnik of Goldberg...

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