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Friday, Feb 23, 2024

Marvel Toy Case Headed to Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal of a case by a man who invented a popular Spider-Man toy and alleged that Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel Entertainment Co. cheated him out of royalties. Stephen Kimble invented a toy that is worn on the wrist and shoots foam string, mimicking the webs cast by the Marvel character that allow him to swing from buildings, according to a story by Reuter’s news service. He applied for a patent in 1991 and later met with Marvel, which developed a toy based on the idea and called it the Web Blaster. That led to a dispute that was resolved when Kimble was paid a lump sum of $516,000 and a 3 percent royalty fee in exchange for the patent, the story said. Kimble and associate Robert Grabb then sued after Marvel stopped making payments, which Marvel claimed it did not have to make anymore since the patent had expired. In 2010, a U.S. District Court judge in Arizona ruled against the men, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision in July 2013. The Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of June. Shares of Disney fell 26 cents, or a fraction of a percent, to $96.49 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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