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Wed Nov 14, 2012, 06:49 PM

Wrench Inventor Claims Sears Stole His Idea, Took It to China

Source: ABC NEWS

By DAVID MUIR
Nov. 14, 2012

In the small town of Cabot, Pa., Dan Brown is the proud inventor of the Bionic Wrench, a product made solely in Pennsylvania. His goal from day one was to make his invention in America.

This time last year, Brown's factory was buzzing, with his employees working overtime to fulfill holiday orders. With the help of Sears, Brown's company sold more than 200,000 wrenches at Christmas alone.

"Last year was a great year," Brown said. "We got ourselves on a commercial and Sears had us in stores. We were going crazy."

Brown says he agreed with Sears not to sell his bionic wrench to any other national chain such as Lowe's or Home Depot. Brown's company continued business this year but suddenly there was no deal from Sears for Christmas.

--CLIP
Brown heard from a customer that there was now another wrench on the shelves at Sears with what appeared to be a similar mechanism. But this one, made in China, is sold under the Sears brand, Craftsman.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/MadeInAmerica/wrench-inventor-claims-sears-stole-idea-china/story?id=17720122#.UKQtDW9my_g



MODS...may not qualify for LBN but this stuff pisses me off.

I'll repost if I must...

11 replies, 5750 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Reply Wrench Inventor Claims Sears Stole His Idea, Took It to China (Original post)
Purveyor Nov 2012 OP
DollarBillHines Nov 2012 #1
RoxyNexus Nov 2012 #3
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #10
Xithras Nov 2012 #2
TheAmbivalante Nov 2012 #4
truthisfreedom Nov 2012 #5
Purveyor Nov 2012 #6
xfundy Nov 2012 #7
happyslug Nov 2012 #9
Unknown Beatle Nov 2012 #8
Snarkoleptic Nov 2012 #11

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 06:53 PM

1. Didn't Sears rip off the socket (ratchet) wrench, as well?

Like Chrysler and intermittent windshield wipers.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 06:59 PM

3. Sears Loses Patent Suit; Clerk Wins $5 Million In Sears Case

 

AP
Published: April 3, 1982

CHICAGO, April 2 A former clerk for Sears, Roebuck & Company was awarded $5 million by a Federal court jury today for a patent violation stemming from the retailer's sale of millions of socket wrenches he designed 18 years ago as a teenager.


http://www.nytimes.com/1982/04/03/business/sears-loses-patent-suit-clerk-wins-5-million-in-sears-case.html

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 10:27 PM

10. Not just Chrysler:

 

"Kearns won one of the best known patent infringement cases against Ford Motor Company (19781990) and a case against Chrysler Corporation (19821992). Having invented and patented the intermittent windshield wiper mechanism, which was useful in light rain or mist, he tried to interest the "Big Three" auto makers in licensing the technology. They all rejected his proposal, yet began to install intermittent wipers in their cars, beginning in 1969."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kearns

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 06:59 PM

2. Seems like a pretty straightforward patent dispute.

Bionic Wrench patented their design. While doing so, they acknowledged that there was a similar design from the 1950's and specified how theirs was different.

Sears claims that their Craftsman design is based on that 1950's design.

So place the parts side by side, compare the differences specified in the Bionic Wrench patent filing, and see if the Sears model contains those differences. If so, Sears needs to pay out the arse. If not...well, then it's much ado about nothing.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 06:59 PM

4. I do believe that I will buy the real deal.


Screw Sears.
You can buy directly from the inventor.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:04 PM

5. It's difficult to say without knowing every detail about the design, so I'm not judging this one but

who would put all their eggs in one basket when Sears has such a famous tool line with a very popular brand name? Seems like he didn't think it through... I would have sold to everyone BUT Sears.

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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:11 PM

6. I'm surprised they gave the china version the Craftsman label. Guess I haven't been paying

attention lately, since most of my craftsman tools were purchased many years ago.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:24 PM

7. I believe Craftsman is a separate entity.

Formerly the most popular brand of hand tools in the USA, they now also sell their tools in Ace Hardware stores.

If I wasn't sick with either the flu or the yick I'd continue on.

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Response to xfundy (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:37 PM

9. No, Craftsmen is trade name of Sears, thats all

Now, Sears has ALWAYS tried to make sure whoever is suppling is items, sell those items through other outlets. From what I can gather Bonney tools made Craftsmen Tools, till it was taken over by the Utica Tools in 1967, Utica Tools was the taken over in 1967 by the Triangle tool company, then by Cooper Tools, which in turn was merged with the Danaher Tool Group to from the Apex Tool Group, which was sold to Bain Capital in 2010. Bonny tools were marketed till the 1990s but then the name disappeared.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apex_Tool_Group

http://home.comcast.net/~alloy-artifacts/bonney-forge-tool.html

In simple terms, Craftsmen was the name some other tool maker (Starting with Bonny) made and sold through Sears. Sears wanted something better then the cheap tools sold by others retailers, thus the Craftsmen name and the trend to better quality tools (Bonny had a very good name in the 1940s when my Father bought some and used them for decades, I think I still have one or two Bonnys purchased in the 1940s if not the 1930s).

Please Note, Sears has in addition to its regular "Craftsmen" tool line a "Craftsmen Industrial line" made by W.R. Grainger, which is considered as good as Snap on (which means regular Craftsmen are a step down from Snap on and even Sears knows that).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._W._Grainger

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craftsman_(tools)

My Father had a saying," buy tools from Sears, unless it rotated or had an engine connected to it". i.e. the Craftsmen hand tools were very good, but once you started to get away from that, you were better off buying elsewhere,

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:49 PM

8. When I can afford it,

I buy Snap-On tools. Made in USA and better than Craftsman.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 11:11 PM

11. Sears is a bad actor.

I live in the taxing district in which their corporate HQ is located. They're in Hoffman Estates, Illinois where they moved from the Sears tower in downtown Chicago. They received a massive long-term tax break to keep them from moving from Illinois. At the expiration of this period, they cried poor and demanded an extension. This extension heaped tons of stress on CUSD 300 schools and they finally agreed to stay in Illinois with some concessions.

I will never again shop at Sears as they're a parasitic corporation.

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