Snap-on suing Harbor Freight over floor jacks

Complaint alleges patent infringement

Last updated on August 26th, 2019 at 05:23 pm

Kenosha-based Snap-on Inc. is suing discount tool supplier Harbor Freight Tools USA Inc. for allegedly violating its design patent on floor jacks.

The floor jack sold by Harbor Freight.
The floor jack sold by Harbor Freight.

The company alleges that Calabasas, California-based Harbor Freight is selling jacks that are “substantially identical in shape and appearance” to ones sold by Snap-on, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin.

The jacks in question include a model marketed by Harbor Freight as the “Daytona 3 Ton Super Duty Floor Jack,” which Snap-on says resembles its own 3-ton rated model, the FJ300. The company was issued a patent for its floor jack in May 2015.

Snap-on alleges purchasers, customers and end-users have been confused about the source, origin and Snap-on’s approval or affiliation with the Harbor Freight jack. As evidence, the company provided 43 pages of discussion by users in an online tool forum discussing whether the jacks are the same, made by the same manufacturer, utilize the same components or are built to the same quality.

Snap-on's floor jack.
Snap-on’s floor jack.

Representatives from Snap-on and Harbor Freight did not immediately return requests for comment on the case.

Snap-on is alleging the sale of the jacks amount to patent infringement, trade dress infringement and unfair competition. The company is seeking an order blocking Harbor Freight from selling any infringing jacks, along with paying Snap-on for any damages, including lost profits or gains made by Harbor Freight.

An overhead view of the two jacks with Snap-on on the right.
An overhead view of the two jacks with Snap-on’s on the right.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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