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Craftsman Tool Invention Project

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Aptly named after American inventor Thomas Edison, the Edison Project is Craftsmans answer to other tool companies’ more active means of finding new ideas for hand tools, power tools or garden tools. They want you to bring your ideas right to them!

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Craftman says they want to either pay you royalties for your idea or develop “it turn” make it into a Craftsman tool. They say it doesn’t matter if you’ve patented your invention or not — though we’d advise you to at least apply before showing the idea to a major tool company.

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Maybe I should submit my idea for a ray gun that turns standard fasteners into metric. And maybe they’ll treat inventors right this time ’round — better than they treated the AutoWrench inventor when he first spoke with ‘em.

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23 Responses to Craftsman Seeks Innovative Tool Ideas

  1. Rob [C.H. Hanson Rep] says:

    C.H. Hanson has been doing this for years and doing it well. Here is a list of those tools that have been introduced into the marketplace when inventors worked directly with Hanson, oftentimes when other “major” manufacturers wouldn’t give them the time of day.

    Pivot Square
    Angle Snap
    Slide Square
    Pencil Boy

    They also provide a great primer and information for those who would like to submit product ideas:

  2. Chaon says:

    From their Terms of Submission Agreement:

    The Submitter agrees that:

    (a) the Submitter’s ideas are submitted gratuitously
    and without expectation of compensation and will automatically become the property of Sears without any compensation to Submitter; and

    (b) Sears can use the ideas for any purpose and in any way and may provide the ideas to third parties without any obligation or compensation to Submitter whatsoever.

    Gee thanks guys, but I think I’ll pass.

    • Eric says:

      I totally agree, not much protection for anyone to submit any idea. I also like the fact that they say that their employees might have already come up with the idea, and could already be working on it. Does not sound very trust worthy. Not to mention most of their tools and products are made in China, they must be the third party!

      • Thomas says:

        Most of Americans wish to pay less money, so China is a first choise. It’s better than a third party like India at least! Everyone knows made in Germany is good, but you’ll have to pay 5x. Help me to license this great tool to a manufacturer in US, then you’ll feel good.


  3. Kif says:

    No kidding!

    The Terms of Submission Agreement is accompanied by a Sears Policy Statement wherein the second paragraph opens with “Sears wants those individuals submitting an idea to protect his/her interests before
    disclosing an idea to Sears.” The second paragraph finishes with “For this reason, Sears will not consider any idea submitted to it unless it is
    submitted subject to Sears Terms of Submission Agreement.”

    I interpret this as “if you have ever heard the term ‘intellectual property’, get lost!”

    Given the recent trend of Sears hyping gimmicky tools around Christmas, they expect a lot of their bread and butter for free. Maybe it will only be a matter of time before the Dateline exclusive “I was the real genius behind Robogrip! ….and wait ’till you here the tawdry happenstance that gave me the idea!”

  4. Charlie says:

    I was speaking to an inventor about this specific issue today and the one-sided nature of their terms. They mention a $5,000 payment (if the idea is used), a 1% royalty for 3 years and Sears owns everything.

    Generally a fair license agreements should run for the life of the patent (17 -21 years) and include any continuation products that come from the original patent. What’s the sense of investing in a patent if you only benefit for a short time? There’s usually some negotiation on these terms based on the value of the patent or intellectual property.

    The fair, ethical and moral thing to do is allow everyone involved in the process of developing new and innovative ideas to benefit. Not exactly what their trying to accomplish with this policy!

    Charlie (Product Manager – PennTek Tools)

    PS. We personally knew the original patent holder for “RoboGrip” (he passed away a few years back) and I’m sure his deal was much different than their current policy.

  5. tooler says:

    I would never get involved with Sears. They will screw you if they can, like most large corporations. An inventor named Peter Roberts went to Sears with an idea for a quick-release ratchet. Sears said it was just an OK idea, but bought the rights for it anyway. The next thing you know, they are selling a ton of quick-release ratchets, more than the conventional ones by far. It’s the very mechanism we are all familiar with. It was a great idea, but Sears deliberately misrepresented the value they saw in it.

    Roberts went to court and eventually won. I think it was a story on ’60 Minutes’ or a similar program. You can find hits on the web by Googling something like ‘Peter Roberts ratchet Sears lawsuit’.

    • De Witt Dunn says:

      Why haven’t you contacted me I gave you your best idea and where is my money

      • De Witt Dunn says:

        I told you how to put the button on the craftsman ratchet back in 1954-55 when you working at sears on wayside we were at Edison Jr high and you said you needed an idea and told you drill a hole one middle of the ratchet an put a little rod with a shoulder so it would stick up and not come out with a spring so you mash it with a notch for a b b and drill a hole thru the side so the b b could stick out and go back in when you mashed it. I drew a picture so your dad the machinist could make it.And I asked you for money and you said I would get other ideas and I havnt seen or heard from you since that day. DeWitt

  6. Harold Moore says:

    Well, I am trying to get noticed by Sears, but signing a ‘give away’ agreement for our universal electrical power tool cord is not a good thing… For those who read this, please go to Snaplockinc.net and vote for a better tool. Us contractors have had enough of tangled power tool cords, and most battery tools have limited applications for major projects. Hey “Project Edison”, we want a better power tool… This simple modification will save the world over 100,000 barrels of oil per year.

  7. Ralph Hamilton JR says:

    (a) the Submitter’s ideas are submitted gratuitously
    and without expectation of compensation and will automatically become the property of Sears without any compensation to Submitter; and

    (b) Sears can use the ideas for any purpose and in any way and may provide the ideas to third parties without any obligation or compensation to Submitter whatsoever.

    Be afraid, very afraid!

  8. Archil says:

    Whaaattttt???? That means give it to me and “f” off!!!!! Dream f_n shitsrs

  9. Lloyd Nelson says:

    i,m an avid tool inventor i have to date invented at least 10 tools started 20 yrs ago with the wrench snipe checked it said patent applied for never did any more about it 15yrs later Mac tool brought it out i now have 4 more automotive hand tools i,m trying to market most of the companies give me the brush of cant afford the patents on them any ideas out there tiered of the shaft.

  10. david leyba says:

    would submmit idea on a gardening tool . i have not seen it anywhere

  11. keith says:

    My new idea puts the new cobalt twist drive ratchet into a more improved ratchet and if Sears buys my patent idea on new ratchet idea will be better then cobalts new twist drive rachet need help to build my idea its a winner

  12. James T Wilcher says:

    If you don’t have Patent pending on your idea do not submit it,and even then until the patent is issued it is not worth anything. When and if the patent is issued then it is valuable. If it is a good idea you can sell or license the Patent. Don’t tell anyone your idea until you get Patent Pending. Just my opinion, going through the process myself.It’s a long expensive waiting game.

    Good luck

  13. Maat Hall says:

    Can someone tell me a better way or place to submit tool innovative ideas for a fair deal?

    This email is a friends since I am not available to check mine as frequently as one might.

  14. walter rodler says:

    I have a re-invention and then some to a tool that is sold today by the millions that is not very user friendly ,causes injuries and not very friendly to the environment . The tool is a log splitter. My system has no wedge no hands no beam half the fuel half the power and many times the portability. No manufacture wants such a tool because my system would make there’s obsolete.!!!!!! Inventor of Debert NS Canada.

  15. Fern barrera says:

    I work for LA County up in the mountains of Angeles National Forest.we sometimes work all night And sometimes when you have to repair something even when you have a flashlight you need that little extra light.so I came up with a little invention that has come in very handy in so many ways and times.people have actually asked me to let them borrow it.I would like to show you this idea to see what you think about it.

  16. Andrew says:

    I have an awesome tool idea mega money

  17. Kevin L Strand says:


  18. Michael Filmore says:

    I’ve designed tools for rusted,locked or cross thread nuts and bolts.I don’t have the money for patents,is your company interested in helping with patents or taking them off my hands?

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