Al-Ko Combined Vice and Workbench
Combined vice and workbench by Al-Ko International, Alois Kober KG, Schwaben, Bavaria, 1977. This product was an attempt to build on the success of the ‘Workmate’ being marketed by Black & Decker, but was found to infringe the patents on the latter’s design and subsequently withdrawn from sale.
Legal proceedings continued until 1982, when the German Federal Patent Court rejected claims against Workmate and granted 2 broad Workmate patents in the Federal Republic of Germany. The case against Al-Ko was one of three (the others being against Meeth and AEG) which established the primacy of the Workmate patents secured in Germany.