Inspire and Innovate, Don’t Copy and Undercut

Toolbox - Photo by Robert S. Donovan

The New York Times recently had a story on the alleged IP theft of an innovative consumer product called the Bionic Wrench.

The Bionic Wrench is manufactured in America by LoggerHead Tools and, until recently, sold their product through Sears and not any competing department stores.

Then Sears introduced their own wrench under their Craftsman brand called the Max Axess. It is manufactured in China and closely mimics the patented gripping mechanism of the Bionic.

So closely in fact, tool aficionados wrote in to LoggerHead Tools asking if they were involved with the product (the answer is a big fat no).

Since introducing the Max Axess, Sears has halted future orders of the Bionic Wrench. The lost sales have resulted in the layoffs of 31 US workers.

Says Mr. Brown, the inventor of the Bionic Wrench and founder of LoggerHead Tools: “It’s destructive when someone competes but doesn’t out-innovate, they just produce it in a different market without regard to safety codes and human conditions.”

The case involving the Max Axess is currently under litigation.

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