Company Builds a Better Hammer & Sues

TYLER, Texas (CN) – A company that built a better hammer and thought the world would smash a path to its door says it was deceived. Smooth Impact claims that 11 companies, including Stanley Black & Decker and Lowe’s, violated the patents on its new and improved “impact instrument.”




     Smooth Impact took out two patents on its hammer. The patents describe it as “an impact instrument for delivering an impulse to an object.”
     Apparently, the improvements lie in the fact that the “grasping member,” or place where you put your hand, is “adapted to pivot with respect to the elongated member [or whacking surface] at the ideal pivot point.”
     “The pivoting of the grasping member preferably increases the amount of impulse delivered to an object, decreases vibration experienced by the user of the instrument, and reduces counter-rotational forces imparted from the instrument to the user,” according to the patent abstract.
     It continues: “The impact instrument may be a hammer, ax, golf club, tennis racket, or similar device” – but in this case it’s a hammer.
     And while we’re on the subject, “When the instrument is grasped within the grasping region, the center of percussion of the instrument preferably coincides with the impact surface.”
     The two patents, with multiple diagrams, total 72 pages.
     Inventor Kurt Schroder of Austin assigned the two patents to the University of Texas System.
     Apparently, when you whack something with the improved impact instrument, it gets whacked good and stays whacked.
     Smooth Impact sued Estwing Manufacturing Co., Stanley Black & Decker, Apex Took Group, Cooper Industries, Cooper Tools, Loew’s Cos., Danaher Corp., Test-Rite Products Corp., American Science & Surplus, Bold Inc., Olympia Tools International, and Pull’r Holding Co. It seeks injunctions and enhanced damages for infringement of both patents, and willful infringement. It is represented by Craig Tadlock of Irving and Tyler.

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