‘Bionic Wrench’ Maker Wins $6M in Patent Suit Against Sears and Supplier


‘Bionic Wrench’ Maker Wins $6M in Patent Suit Against Sears and Supplier
  1. ‘Bionic Wrench’ Maker Wins $6M in Patent Suit Against Sears and Supplier
    hamodia.com
    The father and son behind a Palos Park, Ill., tool company thought Sears Holdings’ Craftsman brand locking wrench looked a lot like their patented Bionic Wrench — in fact, a… Read more » The post ‘Bionic Wrench’ Maker Wins $6M in Patent Suit Against Sears and Supplier appeared first on Hamodia. In related news: Sears Bringing Paint Back to Home Improvement Shelves Sears Could Close More Stores, Cut Jobs in Effort to Cut $1 Billion in 2017 Sears to Sell Most of Canadian Unit t…
    Technology

By Lauren Zumbach

Dan Brown Sr., president of Loggerhead Tools, shows his Bionic Wrench in his home office in Palos Park in 2009, with son Dan Brown Jr. at left. (Warren Skalski/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

(Chicago Tribune/TNS) - The father and son behind a Palos Park, Ill., tool company thought Sears Holdings’ Craftsman brand locking wrench looked a lot like their patented Bionic Wrench — in fact, a little too much.

A federal jury in Chicago agreed. Nearly five years after Dan Brown Sr.’s company, LoggerHead Tools, accused Sears and supplier Apex Tool Group of copying his creation, a jury has awarded LoggerHead nearly $6 million in damages after finding the companies willfully infringed on two patents.

“You don’t often see David in the David vs. Goliath battles win,” said Dan Brown Jr., who runs the company with his father. “It’s a huge win for small businesses, small inventors and people who think if they have a great idea they should be able to bring it to the market and not be crushed by a corporate giant.”

Brown Sr. founded LoggerHead tools in Palos Park and launched his U.S.-made Bionic Wrench invention — an adjustable-size wrench with a plierslike grip — in 2005. The product racked up $20 million in retail sales in the next three years, according to the lawsuit.

The Bionic Wrench, made by Palos Park-based LoggerHead Tools. (Bonnie Trafelet/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Sears placed its first order with LoggerHead in 2009, and ordered more Bionic Wrenches each year until 2012, when it introduced the Craftsman-brand Max Access Locking Wrench, which sold for nearly half the price.

LoggerHead sued Sears and Apex in 2012, claiming Max Access was a “virtual copy” of its product. Last week, a jury awarded damages — based on the number of Craftsman Max Axcess wrenches Sears sold — totaling nearly $6 million.

Sears and Apex both said they were “disappointed” in the verdict. Sears also said Apex would pay all damages in the case. Apex spokeswoman Kelly Rhoads said the company would likely file an appeal.

Sears sold…

sears, wrench
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