22 votes

Sears Steals American Inventor's Idea

http://youtu.be/sHIktR-3Ci4

In the small town of Cabot, Pa., Dan Brown is the proud inventor of the Bionic Wrench, a product made solely in Pennsylvania.
His goal from day one was to make his invention in America.
This time last year, Brown's factory was buzzing, with his employees working overtime to fulfill holiday orders. With the help of Sears, Brown's company sold more than 200,000 wrenches at Christmas alone.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I'm not sure you understand the problem

The purpose of patents is to encourage inventors to invest the necessary time and money to create new products. Without such, innovation would falter and slow WAY down. I'll give you an example. Up until about 1937 a HUGE number of medications contained cannabis extracts. When marijuana was taxed out of (legal) existence by the feds, these drugs, which had many beneficial properties became orphaned. Fast forward to 2012. No pharmaceutical company is going to invest the, on average $100,000,000.00, to get a new cannabis-based drug approved unless it will get the exclusive right to make and distribute it. Since these drugs fall within the realm of "prior art," they are not patentable and any drug maker could cash-in on the "new" drug and the likelihood of the company that got it approved being able to recoup its investment would be slim, eliminating the chance that it would do the up-front research and double-blind trials etc.

As a result, untold millions of people die of completely curable diseases each year.

Get it?

It's how Monsanto ws created

Patents were not meant to be on life, such as cannabis. Sure there were "snake oils" of all kinds being marketed out of people's garages.. I saw a documentary once.. it was like watching an old FBI TV show Guy Friday.. andyways, the story is about how the government, with it's science.. was building a better America.. and it shows a bottle of Marijuana medicine that has caused a death.. and the FBI goes to three homes where they have gotten tracking by delivery.. three people who had ordered the hemp medication.. the first homes says the medicine was bought for a man who had stomach problem and it worked great, the second home, the wife says she bought it for her heart problems and it worked great. The third home the wife says her husband bought ot for his diabetes and he died. They show the bottle again, a close up.. well one of the ingredients was sugar. But how many people knew that then?

Switch gears here a little.. Ever notice how Ron Paul refers to his message as an idea? Ever notice how people rip off his idea and he does nothing? Peopkle ant him to fight and he doesn;t. He doesn't because anyone can have an idea or simular idea, but it the guy who produces it.. that's why Ron Paul says, "Do what you want". If you have a better way, a better idea. by all means let's see it.

Monsanto may have an impossible time patening cannabis and why it remains illegal? What is that otther saying about ideas being popular.. you can't keepo a popular idea down?

The cannabis issue prooves we do not have a free market.

WTF?

Who talked about patenting cannabis?

Monsanto

It seems reasonable...

It seems reasonable to me to allow companies that develop a new compound that has cannabis extracts as feed stock to be able to get patents on their creations, however the hemp plant has been used by humans for over 4000 years and I don't think it would be reasonable for a patent to be issued for an existing strain of cannabis. If Monsanto found that by inserting a gene from a toadstool into a cannabis plant that it made it somehow better then Monsanto should be able to patent that innovation.

Thanks for the link.

lol. (literally). seriously?

lol. (literally).

seriously? that's your example?

so.. the government prohibited marijuana and created a huge problem in the market; therefore, what we need is more government (here, in the form of IP laws).

bahahahaha.

"government failed. that's why we need more government!"

my god man, listen to yourself. you're a liberal.

What grade are you in?

I am sorry that your parents did not teach you how to think. The issue I was illuminating was how, unless there is an opportunity to recoup ones investment, the investment will not likely be made and the innovation not come into being. The role the government played in the example I put forward was irrelevant.

Once you get into fourth grade, I'm sure your teachers will try to teach you how to think clearly.

1) you didn't "illuminate"

1) you didn't "illuminate" anything

2) the role government plays is ALWAYS relevant

3) i've clearly wasted too many words on you already, and i wholeheartedly apologize to myself for doing so.

i accept my apology.

I agree with Spiff

Dan Brown himself says: "It's a knock off." Then he says it's a "rip-off". His angle is, "It's "Made in America". I think the fact that it's, "Made in America" is a competitive edge Dan should begin playing, and begin selling his product to the companies Sears had him agree to not sign to (like WalMart).

Now unlike Tramp, who I would love to see their collection of tools, because tools are cool, and people are always, "re-inventing the left handed monkey wrench", Tramp might know if Sear's China's tool is actually better. and less expensive.. ? Looks to me, who is not tool cool, the Sears/Chinese version may be better.. not the same.

As for Sears... saying it, "Believes in America", seems I for one need an explaination how replacing American jobs for Chinese is believing in America? Does Sears think all American jobs need to be government and prison labor to compete globally? No.. because that's believing in global competition, not American.

And so I wonder.. I don't think it's Dan Brown who is behind this hit peice on Sears.. I think it is a competitior to Sears.. who if they can hurt Sears, with this hit piece, they of course will grow.. my guess is WalMart.. Let's face it.. the best left handed monkey wrench has not been invented yet.. I'll go to WalMart today and look for anothr knock-off.

Actually...

Actually no professional mechanic would ever own one. The "head" portion of the wrench is so large as to not fit on about 50% of fasteners one might encounter. I am a "tool nut" who loves innovative and useful new tools and I can tell you that neither of those tools is worth owning.

So, it's a worthless tool Made In America

and now a better useless tool sold to suckers. I'm a tool nut when it comes to culinary toys. Thing about tools is it takes tools to keep tools..

Sweet, you're for getting rid of copyright laws too!

That way a musician might be able to sell a few Cd's before the masses copy them amongst themselves. (hogwash)

If a person comes up with a unique idea, they have every right to be the ones to benefit from it.

What Sears most likely did was, sucker another vendor into providing exclusive service through their products so that they wouldn't have the large field of sales that they might have...while secretly copying their product through a Chinese manufacturer at a higher profit for themselves.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=qo8CmO...
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

No, inventors/artists can't inhibit my freedom.

I have a natural right to do whatever I please with whatever's in my head, as long as I don't harm someone else. Competing in the free market is not harm. And it turns out that the areas of commerce that *don't* have IP protections are some of the most vibrantly innovative of them all. So even the faux-pragmatic argument of "but if we don't grant them monopolies, they won't create!" doesn't hold up under scrutiny of real world data.

Just because someone came up with the original idea or artwork doesn't give them rights to control what I do. Arts, sciences, and commercial innovations will flourish if we end this massive bureaucracy of copyrestrictions and intellectual monopolies.

It's amazing how many miss the basis of all of this.

Sure, you have a right to do whatever you want as long as you're also not stepping on someone else and their rights. That person created something from his or her mind.. They own it, it's their property. If you come along and steal their idea, you HAVE harmed them.

You sound like you're hoping for some utopian collective with some of those last words.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=qo8CmO...
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

You seem to be begging the question.

The question we're arguing over is whether an idea is property. You can't just assert that it is, and assume that ends the argument. That's the logical fallacy of question-begging (that is, begging that the question being argued about just be conceded to you without argument).

I've given my argument for why ideas aren't property (copying an idea does not deprive the originator of his idea). You have neither refuted my argument nor offered any argument in support of your own assertion.

I am neither utopian nor collectivist in my hope for a truly free market. A truly free market benefits all peaceful people.

And you seem to be avoiding the tough question

both here and mine above.

Please explain exactly how
a) An artist can make a living painting an average of 1 original painting per month.
b) An inventor can make a living inventing something that takes $10M to develop into a working prototype, ready for commercialization.

As I said, unjust business models may well be toast

Let's assume for a second that all independent artists and inventors today only make money by leveraging IP laws. Since IP laws are an immoral government infringement on my natural rights, I'd be happy to see those laws go away, taking those "independent artist" and "independent inventor" business models with them, in order to regain my freedom.

That said, there were artists and inventors before there were IP laws, and there will be again after we take back our freedom in this area. Perhaps artists will have to go back to taking commissions and patronage and being artists-in-residence. Perhaps inventors will have to take engineering jobs with manufacturers.

But regardless of how those with artistic and engineering talents find employment, we'd be better off if we took our rights back from the government. Not only would we have our rights back, but innovation would actually flourish, as it has always done historically in societies without IP laws.

http://mises.org/books/against.pdf
http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/against.htm

So in your goofy assed world

once an artists makes a song, it should then be shared with the rest of the world for free? I mean if they don't own what they made right?

That sure as hell sounds like socialistic collectivism to me.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=qo8CmO...
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

I own what's in my mind, you own what's in yours.

If I write a song and don't share it, then it would only exist in my own mind, and certainly I'm the owner.

But if I then play it for you (without making you sign a nondisclosure contract or something first), then you would have a copy of the song in your mind too. My copy is mine, your copy is yours. You can't tell me what to do with my copy, and I can't tell you what to do with yours.

My perspective is simply respect for the natural rights of the individual to do as he pleases with what's in his own mind. It's not socialist or collectivist at all. In fact, it's *your* position that's socialist/collectivist, because you want the government, by implicit threats of violence, to restrict my freedom to do as I please with what's in my own mind, because supposedly "society" would benefit if government grants false monopolies to the person who claims to have come up with the idea first. The socialists come out of the woodwork to support patent and copyright law, because they think that otherwise, "society" wouldn't get new art/music/inventions/pharmaceuticals as fast. (It turns out that's not true; IP laws actually stifle innovation. But the socialists don't believe that when demanding stronger IP protections.)

Have you read the short, excellent letter Thomas Jefferson wrote on the subject?
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_8s12....

"But if I then play it for you (without making you sign a

nondisclosure contract or something first), then you would have a copy of the song in your mind too."

What do you think you are doing when you agree to purchase their music?

"because you want the government, by implicit threats of violence, to restrict my freedom to do as I please with what's in my own mind, because supposedly "society" would benefit if government grants false monopolies to the person who claims to have come up with the idea first."

So what is one of the governments duties Constitutionally? It's to enforce contracts and to protect our rights. That was the intention. So it's not out of step to want them to protect the artists music.

There is no free market if you take away the ability of man to prosper from his own ideas.. but, your letter from Jefferson was a musing.. if you'll notice, he did mention the right of people to make money on them.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=qo8CmO...
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

I've never had to sign an NDA

I've never had to sign an NDA to listen to a song on the radio or go to a concert or purchase a recording. So I am naturally able to reproduce those experiences (or that recording) to the best of my abilities. Nature does not tie a cosmic string to those memories or copies of the recording that gives the originator some kind of mystic power to keep me from singing a song I heard or duplicating a CD I bought. So "copyright" is clearly not a natural right for artists, as there is no nature-provided mechanism by which artists can enforce it. The only right that nature affords the originator of an idea is initial secrecy. Once that secrecy is surrendered by sharing the idea with others, nature gives everyone who has heard the idea, equal right to the idea.

I read you as trying to argue that because of the current copyright regime, when I purchase a recording I'm beholden to some kind of "implicit contract" (if you'll excuse the oxymoron) to not copy the recording. I agree that this is currently more or less the case, but the current situation is an immoral government intrusion on my natural rights and trampling of the free market, as I've been arguing.

I agree that if we're going to have to have a government, then it's a duty of government to enforce contracts and protect our rights. And that's my point, they're not protecting my natural right to use the copies of ideas that are in my mind. Instead they're making up an artificial legal privilege for one class of people and letting that privileged class leverage government coercive power to abridge my rights.

You say, "So it's not out of step to want them to protect the [artists'] music." But again your phrasing indicates question-begging, because the question we're arguing about is whether or not a piece of music should be considered property of the originator. So by using the possessive "artists' music", it shows you're already thinking of it as property of the original artist.

I'm not taking away any natural right that the artist has to prosper from the music he originated. He can still perform it and record it and sell it all he wants. I'm just trying to protect my natural right to my rightfully-obtained copy of the music he originated, which includes my ability to compete with him in the free market, even using the music he originated. To protect this natural right of mine means taking away the immoral government-handout monopoly legal privilege that the government gave the artist.

As for Jefferson, read it again, more carefully. He makes clear that there is no natural right for the originators to have exclusive control over copies of their ideas, but that some societies (or kings) have chosen to artificially create a legal privilege and give it to the originators, in hopes this will cause a flourishing of the arts.

Let's see..

"I've never had to sign an NDA to listen to a song on the radio or go to a concert or purchase a recording. So I am naturally able to reproduce those experiences (or that recording) to the best of my abilities. Nature does not tie a cosmic string to those memories or copies of the recording that gives the originator some kind of mystic power to keep me from singing a song I heard or duplicating a CD I bought. So "copyright" is clearly not a natural right for artists, as there is no nature-provided mechanism by which artists can enforce it. The only right that nature affords the originator of an idea is initial secrecy. Once that secrecy is surrendered by sharing the idea with others, nature gives everyone who has heard the idea, equal right to the idea."

This doesn't really make much sense.. I don't think you understand the term "Natural rights"..

"I read you as trying to argue that because of the current copyright regime, when I purchase a recording I'm beholden to some kind of "implicit contract" (if you'll excuse the oxymoron) to not copy the recording. I agree that this is currently more or less the case, but the current situation is an immoral government intrusion on my natural rights and trampling of the free market, as I've been arguing."

Well you read wrong.. I argue because this falls under man being able to keep the fruits of his labor. I disagree.. If you don't want to or don't agree with the contract, then your option is to not buy the item.. Completely free to turn the item down..

"Instead they're making up an artificial legal privilege for one class of people and letting that privileged class leverage government coercive power to abridge my rights."

What calls would that be? Do you know that the majority of patents and even artists were not rich from birth? So it's not the elite class.. not that they don't benefit from the band they represent..

"I'm just trying to protect my natural right to my rightfully-obtained copy of the music he originated, which includes my ability to compete with him in the free market, even using the music he originated."

LOL yeah justification for theft. Download many movies do ya?

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=qo8CmO...
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

Please inform us should you ever run for office.

I want to campaign against you.

Ages Old Saga

Sears, for decades has had no loyalty to their suppliers.... good enough, that is bidness. Any manufacturer who promises them exclusivity is a fool. They seldom reciprocate.

I had a long ago friend in the furniture manufacturing business. When retail furniture stores bent on scoring an exclusive relationship with his company, would ask, "Who else are you selling in this market?" He would say, "Everyone but you!" ha ha. Don't ever genuflect to a customer, it is suicide.

Always about that bottom

Always about that bottom dollar... This is why corporations are not really people. They have no heart or soul. Yes I know legally they are like people but I think they shouldn't be as long as they have none of what I previously mentioned.

I'm not big on patents...

So I don't think the inventor has much of a case. However, I hope America will buy his product versus the Chinese Sears knockoff.

In the free markets, we the people need to vote with our dollars. His product is priced the same as the knockoff and I hope people will find out about his product and choose it over the Chinese knockoff.

Sad story. : /

jrd3820's picture

I hate voting some things on this site up

because I feel like I am voting up the crappy news.... Thanks for posting though, stories like these are extremely important no matter despite being depressing.