WASHINGTON (AP) -- The latest adventure of Spider-Man, the American comic book fictional superhero, is taking him through the strange and mysterious world of U.S. patent law.
The Supreme Court was snarled in a web of legal arguments Tuesday over whether an inventor can keep collecting royalties on a Spider-Man toy even after his patent expired.
The dispute involves a popular Web Blaster toy that lets children shoot foam string from a glove, much like the web-shooting super hero.
Inventor Stephen Kimble sold his patent on the toy to Marvel Entertainment in 2001, but Marvel stopped making payments in 2010 when the patent expired.
Kimble wants the high court to overrule a half-century-old case that says a licensing agreement cannot pay royalties after a patent ends. But most of the justices did not seem receptive to doing that.