Spider-justice is tingling.
The U.S. Supreme Court cited a Spider-Man comic in a decision Monday, saying a toy inventor was not entitled to more royalties after his patent expired.
Justice Elena Kagan delivered the 6-3 majority opinion of Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises Inc., which upheld a lower court’s decision to deny Kimble further royalties.
“Patents endow their holders with certain superpowers, but only for a limited time,” she wrote.
The toy in question is a “web blaster” glove that shoots foam to mimic the superhero’s web-slinging abilities. Marvel previously agreed to pay royalties of 3 percent to Kimble with no end date.
But as the patent neared a 2010 expiration, Marvel cited a 1964 court case that said it didn’t have to pay more royalties. Kimble sued to overturn the 50-year-old decision, which involved farm equipment.
Kagan concluded the ruling by citing “S. Lee and S. Ditko, Amazing Fantasy No. 15: ‘Spider-Man,’ p. 13 (1962).” That's better known as:
“With great power there must also come — great responsibility.”
— Mike Sacks (@MikeSacksEsq) June 22, 2015
Kagan is a comic book fan, according to the Supreme Court Review.
Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk.