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Snap-On Tools
Hall Of Shame Member
Added December 3, 2008

Last updated - January 24, 2010

Snap-On Tools Incorporated, list its address as being PO Box 1410, Kenosha, Wisconsin. 53141-1410, phone: 262-656-5200. Snap-On Tools web site is Snap-On Tools is a maker of hand and power tools with annual sales of $2.4 billion (as of June 27, 2005). With sales of over $2.4 billion, one would think that Snap-On Tools could afford to pay for some competent help. But alas, that is not the case.

It appears that Snap-On Tools employs some intelligence-challenged individual (it's not polite to call them mentally retarded any more) named Darci Thompson to answer questions about Snap-On Tools actions when Snap-On Tools improperly, and in our opinion, unlawfully orders eBay auctions terminated. Earth to Snap-On Tools: it's not trademark infringement to re-sell the genuine product in the original packaging.

The reason cited by the intelligence-challenged individual named Darci Thompson was another example of trademark owners engaging in trademark abuse when it comes to interfering with the secondary market.

Even though Snap-on does manufacture the Blue Point line, we cannot permit you to give the buyer the impression that purchases of the Blue Point line will entitle the buyer to warranties and services reserved for those who purchase the Blue Point line through authorized channels.

Combining the two names can confuse the buyer and dilute the strength of our premium grade Snap-on products.

As the trademark owner of both of these marks, we reserve the right to exercise our Intellectual Property rights in full.

Very cutesy and very wrong. What the intelligence-challanged individual named Darci Thompson omitted was the fact there was no mention in the auction listing of a warranty. But, even if there were, if it were a genuine product manufactured by Snap-On Tools, and it most certainly was, then why would the item not be covered by Snap-On Tools? Sears unconditionally guarantees Craftsman Tools for life. If a wrench breaks after ten years of use, do you think the manager at Sears is going to ask for a receipt when the tool is taken back? Who keeps receipts for hand tools for very long?

We would be willing to bet that the Snap-On Tools authorized dealers (read franchisees) don't keep precise records forever of to whom items were sold, when, and what specific piece is covered by what specific warranty. Further, we would also be willing to bet that the Snap-On Tools authorized dealers (read franchisees) sometimes go out of business (see item below) and their records, such as they are, are not kept by the home office nor is the replacement authorized dealers (read franchisees) required to integrate them into their business (see item below). So, we ask Snap-On Tools, are these tools still covered by warranty? Especially the ones from franchisees who are no longer in business? You bet they are but how can anyone check to see what was purchased from whom and when?

"Combining the two names can confuse the buyer"? That's like saying using the name Kellogg's to sell Wheaties confuses the buyer. What bottom-feeder corporate lawyer dreamed up this simple-assed lie? Only a moron would believe this. Or Darci Thompson. And claiming dilution as well? That's absurd. Dilution can only occur when there is trademark infringement which there isn't in this case. Dilution involves someone falsely using another's mark. Get real.

This took place November 24, 2008. The seller emailed Snap-On Tools and Darci Thompson, citing the Lanham Act's provisions concerning fair use and the exceptions concerning dilution as well. Snap-On Tools and Darci Thompson have not responded. They must be busy trying to pull their collective heads out of their collective asses.

Doesn't this just give you a warm fuzzy about Snap-On Tools?

Settlements and Verdicts
Snap-on Tools Co.
Newark, NJ: A class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of former and current franchisees against the mechanic tool and equipment dealer.

The class claimed deceptive business practices on the part of Snap-on caused their franchises to fail. US District Court Judge Dennis Cavanaugh approved a settlement valued at more than $125 million which will affect 3,200 current Snap-on dealers and 2,900 former Snap-on dealers.

(emphasis added)

Snap-on will forgive over $60 million in debt and pay $38 million for current and former dealers. (Oct-28-06) [ASBURY PARK PRESS: SNAP-ON SETTLEMENT]

Sounds like just the type of company we want to do business with, doesn't it?




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