U.S. Supreme Court decides L&W LLP case clarifying federal patent licensing law

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U.S. Supreme Court decides L&W LLP case clarifying federal patent licensing law

July 7, 2015

On June 22, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided Kimble et al. v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a case L&W LLP joined as counsel at the Supreme Court stage.  The Court granted a petition for certiorari filed by L&W LLP in order to decide whether to overrule its decision in Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U.S. 29 (1964), which established a per se ban on patent license royalties for use of a patented invention after the licensed patent expires.  By a vote of 6-3, the Court voted not to disavow its earlier decision.  The Court clarified that a number of “ways around Brulotte” will be permitted if arrangements are desired to “allocate risk over a long timeframe.”