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SIMPLICITY MFG. CO. v. QUICK MFG.


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15 replies to this topic

#1 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted April 09, 2011 - 10:09 PM

In efforts to find out more about the other Quick MFG building I ran across this lawsuit between Simplicity and Quick MFG. The lawsuit was from Simplicity and against Quick MFG in July of 1964, regarding one of Simplicity's tiller patents, and unfortunately for Quick MFG, Simplicity won the case. Sounded like a bad financial hit for Quick MFG. This was two years before Toro bought out Quick MFG (in 1966). It makes me wonder if this lawsuit had anything to do with the sale in 1966. Here is the link.
FindACase™ | SIMPLICITY MFG. CO. v. QUICK MFG.

Edited by wvbuzzmaster, April 09, 2011 - 10:22 PM.


#2 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2011 - 07:04 AM

Thanks Casey, isn't it amazing how different companies can come up with the same idea with out interaction? Just so happens Simplicity got it patented first... Had it happened the other way, we may be talking about buying a NEW Springfield rototiller this spring.

Glad you're making some headway on your research. I see an article coming when you get it all put together.

#3 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2011 - 07:55 AM

Casey, it almost had to have played a part in the sale. Just lawyer & court costs would be staggering, and against a giant like Simplicity with deep pockets......not the best of gambles. If not for that lawsuit, Quick might still be in business today.

#4 nra1ifer OFFLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2011 - 08:03 AM

Thanks for the information. Interesting , and sad, when you realize why a company that made nice equipment no longer exists.

#5 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted April 10, 2011 - 10:43 AM

I read through the entire case last night after going to bed to understand it completely. Not only did Quick have to pay its own court/lawyer costs, but it had to pay Simplicity's court/lawyer costs, and that was on top of paying some amount (agreed on between the companies) per tiller sold that had infringed on the patent. So that was bound to get expensive quickly. Unfortunately I doubt that the actual numbers are available to anyone to know. But two years before sale to Toro sounds like they were in financial trouble by then, because the bad publicity from losing the case probably didn't help matters.

#6 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted April 11, 2011 - 01:48 AM

Ok, I ran across an appeal by Quick MFG to the above case between Simplicity and Quick MFG. The appeal was in January 1966, and they (Quick MFG) were again, overruled (defeated). The month that Quick MFG sold out to Toro was August 1966 if I remember right (will have to look through my papers and confirm). So that makes me believe that if the original case didn't kill 'em, it was the overruled appeal that did them in, since they still had lawyer costs after that I'm sure. So now we all know why Quick MFG no longer exists, they ran out of money with all the legal battles with Simplicity.
Here is the link to the appeal: (this one is twice as confusing as the original lawsuit)
FindACase™ | Simplicity Manufacturing Co. v. Quick Mfg. Inc.

#7 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted April 11, 2011 - 04:27 AM

That was interesting.

#8 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted November 27, 2013 - 05:02 PM

Been thinking about this recently and realized that there was something else going on in 1964 between Simplicity and Quick Mfg. (Springfield). In the 1960s, Montgomery Wards was selling Simplicity products under their roof. Well, in 1964, Montgomery Wards picked up another vendor, Quick Mfg. (Springfield). Seems awefully coincidental that Simplicity finally sued Quick Mfg. in mid 1964 over a patent published in 1959 and an infringement based on a 1963 product sold by Quick Mfg. I'm wondering if Simplicity wasn't trying to get Montgomery Wards all to themselves and Montgomery Wards would not do that, requiring Simplicity to take a different approach.
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#9 Michiganmobileman OFFLINE  

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Posted November 28, 2013 - 07:29 AM

Interesting post Casey.  Thanks for the update.



#10 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted November 28, 2013 - 07:36 AM

Interesting history. Thanks for sharing.



#11 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted November 28, 2013 - 08:57 AM

Keep in mind that i cant prove my theory, only draw wild conclusions based on facts surrounding it all. However, if someone happens to come forward with facts confirming my theory.

#12 Talntedmrgreen OFFLINE  

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Posted November 28, 2013 - 06:13 PM

It was my umderstanding that Wards was in over their heads by the early to mid '60's as well. Simplicity had been building tractors for them since 1937, and sharing that business wih Midland periodically. Wards was going umder by the time they brought Quick on board, as a cost cutting measure. They defaulted on most all accounts payable and bankrupted in or around 1967. They left Simplicoty and others holding the bag for tractors sold to them, and when reorganized, Gilson came in and resumed building tractors for them. Simplicity had no interest in the business, and interestingly, a few years later, built a compact tractor for them, based on their Powermax's, but never did build tillers, walkers or GT's for them.
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#13 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted November 28, 2013 - 06:51 PM

Thanks for the information.

#14 Talntedmrgreen OFFLINE  

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Posted November 28, 2013 - 08:01 PM

Im sure the court battles and loss of patent-able products killed Quick, but Ill bet Wards not paying them hurt too. Were they manufacturing for anyone else at that time?

#15 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted November 28, 2013 - 08:03 PM

Farmcrest, cant recall the real stores name, but the tractors were branded Farmcrest.




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