Peter Roberts

Inventor

41

Who is Peter Roberts?

Peter 'Pete' Roberts invented the quick release socket wrench. He sold his patent to US retail store chain Sears for $10,000 who said that they did not think the invention was worth very much. When he learned that Sears had done a market study which revealed a huge market and that they had sold 26 million of his wrenches for a profit of $44 million within a year, he sued them for fraud. In 1976, a US Federal jury agreed with him and awarded him $1 million in damages. Sears appealed the decision all the way to the US Supreme Court but lost.

On further appeals he was granted $5 million in damages, however the lawsuit continued, and in 1989 it was reported that he had finally settled with Sears for $8.9 million.

Roberts went on to found Link Tools, which manufactures a system of interlocking quick-release ratchets, sockets, and accessories.

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Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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