In 1967, inventor Robert Kearns received patents on the mechanism of the intermittent windshield wiper for cars. Kearns offered his idea to several automakers but was turned away -- but then Ford and Chrysler began manufacturing cars containing the technology. His suit against the two automakers became a long-running patent battle, eventually reaching the Supreme Court, where it raised questions about just how non-obvious and unique an invention had to be to deserve patent protection.
Kearns eventually was awarded some $30 million in damages. In this segment, Ira talks with an author, movie director, and actor behind the new film 'Flash of Genius' about the Kearns windshield wiper patent battle.
Produced by Christopher Intagliata, Associate Senior Producer