Supreme Court says inventor of Spider-Man toy can't reel in royalties after patent expires

Technology Associated Press

The Supreme Court says the inventor of a popular Spider-Man web-shooting toy can't keep reeling in royalties after his patent ran out.

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The justices ruled 6-3 Monday against Stephen Kimble in his long-running dispute with Marvel Entertainment over a Web Blaster toy that shoots foam string from a glove.

Kimble sold his patent on the toy to Marvel in 2001 and has earned more than $6 million in royalties under terms of a settlement agreement. But Marvel stopped making payments in 2010 once the patent expired.

Kimble had urged the high court to overrule a half-century-old case that says a licensing agreement cannot pay royalties once a patent ends.

But the justices declined. The court said it should be up to Congress to change patent laws.