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Attorneys React to Supreme Court Patent Royalties Case

June 18, 2015

In an article published in Law360 on June 22, 2015, Lori Johnson offered her reaction to the Supreme Court Royalties Case Kimbel v. Marvel Enterprises. The Supreme Court issues a ruling that leaves intact a 50-year-old rule barring loyalty agreements that continue after a patent expires. Johnson explains, “By upholding the Brulotte rule, the Supreme Court retained a simple and predictable test for the end date of a patent royalty. Kimble v. Marvel underscores the importance of keeping patent agreements separate from other business agreements. Business agreements can support any number of financial obligations, but patents serve a greater purpose. Patents inform the public and for that, they are given a period of commercial exclusivity. At the end of that monopoly period, the bargain is to allow the invention to enter the public domain.”