Based on the true story of college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns' long battle with the U.S. automobile industry, Flash of Genius tells the tale of one man whose fight to receive recognition for his ingenuity would come at a heavy price. But this determined engineer refused to be silenced, and he took on the corporate titans in a battle that nobody thought he could win. The Kearns were a typical 1960s Detroit family, trying to live their version of the American Dream. Local university professor Bob married teacher Phyllis and, by their mid-thirties, had six kids who brought them a hectic but satisfying Midwestern existence. When Bob invents a device that would eventually be used by every car in the world, the Kearns think they have struck gold. But their aspirations are dashed after the auto giants who embraced Bob's creation unceremoniously shunned the man who invented it. Ignored, threatened and then buried in years of litigation, Bob is haunted by what was done to ... Written by
The film's title comes from the 1941 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Cuno Engineering Corp. v. Automatic Devices Corp. that suggested an invention had to reveal the "flash of creative genius" to be patentable. A new U.S. patent act took effect in 1952 that eliminated the "flash of creative genius" requirement by adding the provision that "Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made." In effect, the new provision recognized that patentable inventions can result from long toil and experimentation. See more »
The 1969 Lincoln Mark III he drives to Ford, with the invention installed, had variable-speed hydraulic wiper motors running off the power steering pump. They were used on Mark IIIs and Thunderbirds because Mercedes used them, and they were very quiet. It wasn't until the 1972 models that they had electric intermittent wipers on them. See more »
Whatever happened to this little thing called justice we talked about?
This is justice, Bob. This is how justice is dispensed in this country - with checkbooks. There are no brass bands, you know, there are no ticker tape parades, the mayor doesn't give you the key to the city and call you a hero. You get a check, and that check makes the lives of you and your family a little easier... a little more pleasant. It's that simple.
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Following his verdict over Ford, Bob received $18.7 million from the Chrysler Corporation. See more »
Largo from Xerxes, HWV by George Friederic Handel
Written by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
Performed by Bertalan Hock
Courtesy of Naxos, by Arrangement with Source/Q See more »
You just got to hand it to Greg Kinnear. He has certainly put all of himself in every role he has undertaken. From the host of E Entertainment's 'Talk Soup', onto such film roles as 'Little Miss Sunshine','Auto Focus' & this fine film. Kinnear plays a downtrodden Joe Sixpack from the suburbs, with his wife & six children. Here he is an engineering professor who has re-invented the windshield wiper (or did he just upgrade it?), only to have his idea stolen by Ford Motors. After 12 years of struggle that includes a nervous breakdown & the melt down of his marriage, he finally has his day in court. Does he emerge the victorious? I won't kiss & tell. This is a quiet,understated little film that deserved far better than it got. Alan Alda also shines as his attorney that tries to go to bat for him. This is one of those films that (hopefully)will have a second chance when it gets released on DVD. Slapped a PG-13 by the MPAA for some salty language,a moment of sensuality & some rather erratic behavior,due to a nervous breakdown.
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