As reported by Salon, today the Supreme Court ruled that “the inventor of a Spider-Man toy did not have a right to royalties beyond the expiration of his patent. In the case, Marvel argued that it was not obligated to pay Stephen Kimble, the inventor of a Spider-Man toy that shoots foam string, for product sales royalties after Kimble’s patent had expired.” While delivering sweet, sweet justice, Justice Kagan used her position as Decision Author to connected her important position in the American Justice System to another legendary crime fighter: Spider-Man himself. Check it out…
“What we can decide, we can undecide. But stare decisis teaches that we should exercise that authority sparingly. Cf. S. Lee and S. Ditko, Amazing Fantasy No. 15: ‘Spider-Man,’ p. 13 (1962) (‘[I]n this world, with great power there must also come — great responsibility.’).
– The Justice Kagan
This decision is full of Spider-Man references, including the phrases “Patents endow their holders with certain superpowers, but only for a limited time.” and “The parties set no end date for royalties, apparently contemplating that they would continue for as long as kids want to imitate Spider-Man (by doing whatever a spider can).”
Check out more of the Decision here.