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Based on a true story……….
Who designed the artificial aortic heart valve? An engineer did that……. Who designed the gas chambers at Auschwitz? An engineer did that, too…………. One man was responsible for helping save tens of thousands of lives, another man helped kill millions.
Dr.Robert William Kearns (March 10, 1927 – February 9, 2005) was an Applied electronics engineer from University of Detroit and Wayne State University and a doctorate from Case Institute of Technology,. He is the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper systems used on most automobiles from 1969 to the present. Having invented and patented the intermittent windshield wiper mechanism, which was useful in light rain or mist, Kearns won one of the best known patent infringement cases against Ford Motor Company (1978-1990).
In 1941,the supreme court came up with the notion that, somewhere in the process of inventing, the inventor must experience some sort moment. What they called ‘a flash of genius’. And the flash that inspired for his invention stems from an incident on Kearns' wedding night in 1953, when an errant champagne cork shot into his left eye, which eventually went almost completely blind. Nearly a decade later, in 1963, Kearns was driving his Ford Galaxie through a light rain, and the constant movement of the wiper blades irritated his already troubled vision. He modeled his mechanism on the human eye, which blinks every few seconds, rather than continuously.
With financial support from Gil Privick, Robert converts his basement into a laboratory and develops a prototype he tests in a fish tank before installing it in his car. He patents his invention and demonstrates it for Ford researchers, who had been working on a similar project without success, but won't explain how it works until he hammers out a favorable deal with the corporation. Impressed with Robert's results, executive Macklin Tyler the head of Ford Company asks him to prepare a business plan detailing the cost of the individual units, which Robert intends to manufacture himself. Considering this to be sufficient commitment from the company, he rents a warehouse he plans to use as a factory, and forges ahead. He presents Ford with the pricing information it requested along with a sample unit, then waits for their response. Time passes, and when nobody contacts Robert, he begins placing phone calls that never are returned. Frustrated Robert Finally returns home and determined to receive public acknowledgement for his accomplishment. Thus begins years of legal battles, during which time he divorces his wife and becomes estranged from his children, all of whom eventually support him in a trialin which he represents himself after he decides attorney Gregory Lawson is not representing his best interests.
The legal argument that the ford industry posed in defense was that an invention is supposed to meet certain standards of originality and novelty. One of these is that it be "non-obvious." Ford had claimed that the patent was invalid because Kearns' intermittent windshield wiper system had no new components, but kerns did create something new by using the tools available to him ie, arranging the electrical components in a new pattern, just think that telephones space satellites all of these were made from parts that already existed. “Thus invention doesn’t meant that creating something new but its an arrangement into a new pattern with the available resources that makes your invention unique”. In 1990, a jury decided that Ford had infringed on Mr. Kearns's patent, though it concluded that the infringement had not been deliberate. To settle the case, Ford later agreed to pay $10.2 million and to drop all appeals and again Offered a $30 million settlement, with no admission of wrongdoing on Ford's part, Robert decides to leave his fate in the hands of the jury, who determine Ford's infringement was not deliberate and thus after 20 yrs of long battle Kearns was awarded by $18.7 million and the right to claim his invention as his own. Today there are over 145 million automobiles on the road with the intermittent Windshield Wiper.
Brijin Benzigar 2nd yr CSE(A)