Lucky Break Wishbone v Sears

In 1999, after eating Thanksgiving dinner, Ken Ahroni came up with the idea of making plastic wishbones as a novelty item. He used the actual wishbone from that dinner as the model on which he based the design of the plastic ones which he marketed as "Lucky Break Wishbones."

A few years later Sears got wind of Ahroni's plastic wishbones, thought they might be a fun item to sell around Thanksgiving, and asked him to send a few samples. Ahroni happily did so, but then Sears turned around and sent his samples to a Chinese company that used them as a reference to make cheaper wishbones that Sears proceeded to sell.

Ahroni sued Sears for copyright infringement, and a jury awarded him $1.7 million.

Hard to feel much sympathy for Sears since they undeniably ripped off his idea. But in terms of copyright infringement it was an odd case since a wishbone doesn't seem like something that would be protected by copyright.

I don't think Ahroni is selling his plastic wishbones anymore. His website ( has been abandoned.

More info: The Trademark and Copyright Law blog
     Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 24, 2023
     Category: Lawsuits | Thanksgiving

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