The Bionic Wrench, made by Palos Park-based LoggerHead Tools, is an adjustable-size wrench with a plierslike grip. Loggerhead sued over a similar Craftsman brand locking wrench, alleging patent infringement, and a federal jury sided with LoggerHead, awarding it nearly $6 million in damages. (Bonnie Trafelet/Chicago Tribune)
Suburban 'Bionic Wrench' maker wins $6M in patent suit against Sears, supplier
The father and son behind a Palos Park 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.