A teenager invented a quick-release ratchet and offered the patent to

Did you know that a teenager invented a quick-release ratchet and offered the patent to Sears. Sears told him the patent was valueless and gave him $10,000, then went on to make $44 million selling the ratchets.

WASHINGTON — The “wrench case”–Peter M. Roberts vs. Sears, Roebuck & Co.–has shipped eastward from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to Washington. Twice it made round trips to the Supreme Court, which declined to review rulings of the 7th Circuit Court. Twice later, it came to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

In the Federal Circuit, the first visit ended last November, when the court sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Bernard M. Decker, who, on June 5, ordered a new trial. The second visit began recently, when Roberts petitioned the Federal Circuit to hold that a third trial would violate his constitutional rights.

 

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