The Supreme Court rules that patent licensing beyond its terms is anti-competitive
In, Kimble v. Marvel, The Supreme Court considered anti-competitive concerns to patent licensing contracts beyond the term of a patent. Stated another way the case is about post-expiration patent royalties. The US has had a longstanding ban on such royalties, as a result of the holding in Brulotte v. Thys Co., that identified them as a per-se anti-competitive practice. Kimble and Marvel entered into a contract that stipulated that Kimble would continue getting royalties after the expiration for a Spider-Man toy patent. The Supreme Court relied heavily on the theory of Stare Decisis, that is to say that Judicial Opinions should only be reversed in severe extenuating circumstances. The Supreme Court ruled that the licensing contract was non-enforceable, and that any future relief from the Brulotte rule would have to come from the legislative body of government, by statute, rather than in a courtroom.
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