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 »
A 1976 Buick Electra Limited is shown in one scene, even though this part of the film took place around 1970. 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 »
This is another true David & Goliath story which pits a home inventor, Bob Kearns, who develops a working intermittent windshield wiper control, against the Ford Motor Company who stole his idea after he demonstrated it to them. The strain is at times too much for Kearns who eventually suffers a mental breakdown, but comes back to take on Ford in a monumental lawsuit despite the strains on his marriage & family.
While a lot of people probably won't be interested in true life stories like this, I enjoy them and did enjoy this movie. The acting is good, and since the story is set in the 1960's & 1970's, you really get a feel for that era. It's worth a watch.
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