Snap-on suing Harbor Freight over floor jacks

Complaint alleges patent infringement

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.

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.

Comments

  1. Jack S. says:

    Oh boo-hoo, Snap-On! Sell quality equipment at a reasonable price and you won’t have to cry about it. Kudos to Harbor Freight for listening to their customers, and selling products at a fair price.

  2. ken says:

    snap on is just (upset) because milwaukee tools sued them since milwaukee has the patent on power tools with lithium ion batteries

  3. Patrick Tanton says:

    I’ve seen the snap-on guy at harbor freight before buying (stuff).

  4. John says:

    Snap on is just pissed because they are trying to sell a harbor freight jack for $450 dollars more than what it is worth.

  5. Ross says:

    I bought one of these “Snap On” jacks. My dealer came through the door with this jack with all the bells and whistles. $499.00, today only. two weeks later the thing is bent. One month later, Harbor Freight has the same jack in it’s flyer….Went and looked and it is the same jack…Snap -on is getting these cheap jacks, putting their “S” on them and patenting them. Let me tell you, it took 6 months for my dealer to warranty the jack. NOT HAPPY…I’m sure I put at least one of his children through college….Long story short….not very impressed with anything snap-on lately……getting cheap, and charging more for it……

  6. John Reese says:

    I just searched the Amazon web site for floor jacks. I found at least 6 different brands that resemble the Harbor Freight and Snap ON jacks. I wonder if Snap On is suing them all.

  7. angela says:

    And exactly HOW many ways is there to make a floor jack and have it NOT be similar? Get over it Snap On~

  8. James says:

    SnP on is mad because HF is now better than their over- priced Chinese crap…quality sure has tanked in the last 2 decades.. still using my old man’s tools..the new crap just breaks down… Hf I buy two for less than 50% of snap off

  9. Dannie Moyers says:

    Get over it already snap-on, harbor freight has every right to sell something similar to yours. Cry babies at its finest, another reason I don’t buy over priced snap on products

  10. Mattbert says:

    Seems like one of those things where only the attorney’s make any money. I bought a cheap floor jack that I use for changing the blades on my tractor, that looks pretty much the same, that I bought for a really low price, sometime before 2015. Is there anything novel about the patent other than the appearance? Because they do look different. The trick is always making sure a jury would feel the same way.

  11. Phil V says:

    All Home Style “Small Floor Jack’s” Pretty much ALL LOOK “Basically the Same” in Shape & Size. I , as well Notice a Few OBVIOUS difference’s in the Appearance of the Two Jack’s “Side by Side” Pic, They MAY BE SIMILAR in Thier “LOOK” But, There are Definite DIFFERENCE’S Between the Two. Get Freaking OVER IT SNAP ON TOOL CO.

  12. Michael says:

    Cry babies. Lower your ridiculous prices and shoppers will most likely buy the name brand. I see many dissimilarities.

    • w. Penrod says:

      Snap On is scared of competition. They have been over priced forever. I have bought plenty of their tools. Thank GOD for Harbor Freight.