Ford Bashing Flash of Genius Opens Today

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Flash Of Genius, which opens at theaters today, is such a TTAC movie. It’s a story of automotive invention and one man’s struggles against the corrupt practices of an industry that stole his patented intermittent wiper design. Hell, it’s already got Ford’s PR flacks in a frenzy. Automotive News [sub] is reprinting its take on the eventually happy conclusion of the Bob Kearns story today, in honor of the film’s release. The story, dating from December 16, 1991 (this blogger’s ninth birthday), reports the successful conclusion of Kearns’ patent lawsuit against Chrysler. Having already won a $10.2m settlement against Ford, Kearns was asking for $39m from Chrysler for stealing his invention. After 13 years of litigation and $10m in legal fees, Kearns had finally beat the industry that so viciously screwed him. Check out the movie that retells the story of his invention and legal battles, opening today at theaters near you.

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  • Praxis Praxis on Oct 03, 2008

    @joeaverage He sued almost every large automaker in the world, around 30 in total.

  • Obbop Obbop on Oct 03, 2008

    Sears used the "power" of deep corporate pockets and its in-house pack of lawyers to fend off an inventor for years. "Peter Roberts invented a quick-release ratchet wrench that enabled a mechanic to change sockets with one hand." I believe that refers to the nifty little button you push at the ratchet's top to allow the socket to be released. URL is lengthy but a Google will allow you to find the whole story. It's sad how corporations, with their wealth and influence and their teams of in-house lawyers have such an incredible advantage over the typical Joe and/or Jane SixPack. Not a total advantage bur those who have even a basic knowledge of the realities of the legal system are aware of how powerless the invidual is in comparison to corporate America.

  • Skor Skor on Oct 04, 2008

    @ Menno: Westinghouse didn't rob Tesla, it was Edison who did that. At the time, Westinghouse's company was in a death struggle with Edison's. Tesla had a contract with Westinghouse requiring royalty payments for the patents sold to Westinghouse. Westinghouse informed Tesla that the Westinghouse Company could not remain competitive against Edison if Tesla insisted on receiving the royalty payments to which he was entitled. Tesla tore up the contract with Westinghouse, essentially giving away his patents to Westinghouse. Tesla didn't have to do that. I suppose it had something to do with a sense of honor that comes in handy when fighting off Turks in the Balkans, but makes you a broke-ass loser when dealing with American businessmen(who don't know anything about personal honor). Edison, on the other hand, promised Tesla $50K for improving the the efficiency of Edison's DC generating equipment. Tesla went to work without a contract. After Tesla completed the work, and asked Edison for his money, he was informed by Edison, "My dear Mr. Tesla. You don't understand our American sense of humor!"

    • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Feb 23, 2010

      "Westinghouse didn’t rob Tesla, it was Edison who did that. At the time, Westinghouse’s company was in a death struggle with Edison’s." Funny how history is never taught like this in schools (at least around here).

  • Nicodemus Nicodemus on Oct 05, 2008

    "He sued almost every large automaker in the world, around 30 in total." Yeah..and he lost when the legal system came to their senses. Seriously this is an utter crock and belittles the real advancements made in wiper technology made by Lucas, Bosch, trico etc...