Timeline of Events:
LoggerHead Tools vs. Sears Holdings Corp. and Apex Tool Group
2005 – Inventor Dan Brown founds LoggerHead Tools to design, develop and market new-to-the-world hand tools made in America. LoggerHead Tools launches its first product, the Bionic Wrench®, a patented new type of hand tool that grips nuts and bolts on all sides, equally distributing force.
2005-2009 – The Bionic Wrench wins over 10 international design awards, is covered in publications including the The Wall Street Journal, Businessweek and Time. The company develops several other hand tools based on the Bionic Wrench patent and sells about 765,000 tools in retail outlets including QVC, Canadian Tire, Ace Hardware and True Value.
2009 –Sears agrees to do a test sale of Bionic Wrench for the holiday season and sells out of all the products ordered.
2010 – Sears orders 75,000 Bionic Wrenches for the holiday season and again sells out.
2011 – In the fourth quarter, Sears sells over 250,000 Bionic Wrenches with the support of a commercial produced and financed by LoggerHead Tools. The Bionic Wrench out-sells all other tools at Sears in this time period, including Craftsman products.
2012 – Sears introduces Craftsman Max Axess Wrench, a knockoff of the Bionic Wrench. The Craftsman version is manufactured in China by Apex, one of the largest manufacturers of power and hand tools in the world. Apex is owned by Bain Capital, and manufactures well-known brands including Allen, Crescent, GearWrench and Lufkin.
October 2012 - LoggerHead Tools files a lawsuit alleging that Sears and Apex infringed two of its patents for the Bionic Wrench.
May 2017 – LoggerHead Tools wins willful patent infringement lawsuit against Sears and Apex. Unanimous jury awards nearly $6 million in damages and finds Sears’ and Apex’s actions to be egregious misconduct.
June 2017 -LoggerHead Tools files petition to enhance damages up to three times the amount of past damages against both Sears and Apex, and also seeks prejudgment interest, attorneys fees and a permanent injunction forbidding future sales of infringing products.