retailer was sued on Wednesday by Stanley Black & Decker Inc,
which accused it of breach of contract and trademark
infringement over its new line of professional-grade mechanics
tools under the Craftsman Ultimate Collection brand.
Sears did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The
complaint was filed in Manhattan federal court.
Craftsman had been an iconic Sears brand before Stanley paid
about $900 million for it in March 2017, while giving Sears what
it called a "limited" license to sell some Craftsman products.
But according to the complaint, Sears breached the license
agreement by launching its new tool line and touting its stores
as "the real home of the broadest assortment of Craftsman."
Stanley said the tagline falsely implies that other Craftsman
products are "somehow illegitimate."
It also said Sears' actions threaten to confuse shoppers and
irreparably harm Stanley's own Craftsman brand and trademarks,
as well as its goodwill and customer relationships.
Sears emerged from Chapter 11 in February after longtime
Chairman Edward Lampert, who oversaw its years-long descent into
bankruptcy, won court approval for a $5.2 billion takeover,
which included the Craftsman licensing rights.
The reorganized company was expected to have about 425 Sears and
Kmart stores, down from roughly 3,500 when those companies
merged in 2005. Sears brands also include DieHard and Kenmore.
The case is Stanley Black & Decker Inc v Transform Holdco LLC,
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Richard
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