(Source) Last Christmas, Sears had a brisk seller in the Bionic Wrench, an award-winning, patented tool with spiffy lime green accents. This holiday season, though, Sears has a special display for its own wrench, in the red and black colors of its house brand, Craftsman. One customer who recently spotted the new Craftsman tool, called the Max Axess wrench, thought it was an obvious knockoff, right down to the try-me packaging. “I saw it and I said, ‘This is a Bionic Wrench,’ ” recalled Dana Craig, a retiree and tool enthusiast in Massachusetts who alerted the maker of the Bionic Wrench. “It’s a very distinctive tool,” he added.

The tools have one significant difference, Mr. Craig noted. The Bionic Wrench is made in the United States. The Max Axess wrench is made in China. The shift at Sears from a tool invented and manufactured in the United States to a very similar one made offshore has already led to a loss of American jobs and a brewing patent battle. The story of the Bionic Wrench versus Craftsman, which bills itself as “America’s most trusted tool brand,” also raises questions about how much entrepreneurs and innovators, who rely on the country’s intellectual property laws, can protect themselves. For the little guy, court battles are inevitably time-consuming and costly, no matter the outcome.

I’ll be perfectly honest. I read zero words in this story. I wanted to blog it solely because I thought everyone should know that Milton from Office Space is doing well for himself these days.

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