Work Buddy Combined Vice and Workbench
‘Work Buddy’, combined vice and workbench, by Sears, Roebuck & Co., USA, 1981.
This object was found to infringe the patents covering the design of the ‘Workmate’ combined workbench and vice held by Black & Decker Inc and Hickman Design Ltd, and subsequently withdrawn from sale. In so doing, there was expressed most clearly the ‘indicia of non-obviousness’ – that the ‘Workmate’ might look like a simple idea, but that no-one previously had thought of it. Subsequent to this, consideration was made as to whether the Workmate constituted a new field of art, with no prior art.