U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagen is evidently a Spider-Fan. The court handed down its decision on a royalty case involving a patent on a Spider-Man toy that shoots silly string. A product inventor wanted wanted Marvel to pay royalties indefinitely but the court sided with Marvel.
In writing the decision Justice Kagan said:
- “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).”
- “Patents endow their holders with certain superpowers, but only for a limited time.”
- “To the contrary, the decision’s close relation to a whole web of precedents means that reversing it could threaten others.”
- “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: “SpiderMan,” p. 13 (1962) (“[I]n this world, with great power there must also come — great responsibility”).”
So Spider-Man’s greatest message is now on the books. How cool is that?
Here’ a video with the patent holder from a few months ago.