Home Menu ↓
Clicking on our sponsor links helps insure continued free access to this website.
Please support our efforts by visiting our sponsors:

 

Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC

Docket No.: 13-720
Certiorari Granted: 12/12/2014
Argued: March 31, 2015
Decided: June 22, 2015

Topics:

Sherman Act, antitrust, patent, rule of reason, stare decisis

PartyNames: Stephen Kimble, et al. v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC, Successor to Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
Petitioner: Stephen Kimble, et al.
Respondent: Marvel Entertainment, LLC, Successor to Marvel Enterprises, Inc.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Citation: 727 F.3d 856
Supreme Court Docket

Stephen Kimble, et al.
v.
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, Successor to Marvel Enterprises, Inc.
Background:

Petitioners are individuals who assigned a patent and conveyed other intellectual property rights to Respondent. The court of appeals "reluctantly" held that Respondent, a large business concern, was absolved of its remaining financial obligations to Petitioners because of "a technical detail that both parties regarded as insignificant at the time of the agreement." App. 2-3; 23. Specifically, because royalty payments under the parties' contract extended undiminished beyond the expiration date of the assigned patent, Respondent's obligation to pay was excused under Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U.S. 29, 32 (1964), which had held that "a patentee's use of a royalty agreement that projects beyond the expiration date of the patent is unlawful per se." A product of a bygone era, Brulotte is the most widely criticized of this Court's intellectual property and competition law decisions. Three panels of the courts of appeals (including the panel below), the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission, and virtually every treatise and article in the field have called on this Court to reconsider Brulotte, and to replace its rigid per se prohibition on post--expiration patent royalties with a contextualized rule of reason analysis.

Question Presented:

Whether this Court should overrule Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U.S. 29 (1964).

Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC
ORAL ARGUMENT

March 31, 2015

Listen to Oral Argument in Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC
Holding: AFFIRMED
Vote: 6-3
Majority: Kagan, Scalia, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor
Dissenting: Alito,Roberts,Thomas
Opinion By:
Database Connection failed: SQLSTATE[HY000] [1045] Access denied for user 'restauz8_sophi'@'localhost' (using password: YES)