Home Depot had a problem: their employees kept sawing off their own extremities with the saws they used to cut lumber for customers. Michael Powell invented a gadget which fixed the problem, and offered to sell the device to the chain for $2,000 each. Then, the inventor’s lawsuit alleged, Home Depot simply stole the gadget’s design, made their own, and wouldn’t compensate him. “F*** Michael Powell. Let him sue us.” one executive said at the time. Now the chain must pay him a judgment of about $25 million.
We’ve been seeing this story popping up here and there and weren’t sure if it was really a consumer issue, but after it showed up on BoingBoing again today we decided that there were just too many examples to ignore.