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Robert Kearns

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2005 | From Associated Press
Robert Kearns, the inventor of intermittent windshield wipers, who won multimillion-dollar judgments against Ford and Chrysler for using his idea, has died. He was 77. Kearns died of cancer Feb. 9 at his home in suburban Baltimore, his family said. In 1967, Kearns received several patents for his design for wipers that paused between swipes, making them useful in light rain or mist. The invention allows the driver to set the interval at which the wiper sweeps the window.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2008 | Mark Olsen, Special to The Times
"Flash of Genius" is largely about how one person's nothing is another person's everything. Take the intermittent windshield wiper, for example. I, for one, had never much thought about who designed it, where it came from or whether there was a story there. For Robert Kearns, however, it becomes the defining object of his life.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2008 | Reed Johnson, Times Staff Writer
It's too bad that Greg Kinnear couldn't have played Robert Kearns more often in real life. That thought went through my mind last week while watching Kinnear's performance in "Flash of Genius," a new drama based on the story of the cantankerous Detroit engineer who successfully sued Ford and Chrysler for a combined $30 million for infringing on his patent designs for the intermittent windshield wiper. Kinnear apparently never met Kearns, who died of cancer at age 77 in 2005.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2008 | Reed Johnson, Times Staff Writer
It's too bad that Greg Kinnear couldn't have played Robert Kearns more often in real life. That thought went through my mind last week while watching Kinnear's performance in "Flash of Genius," a new drama based on the story of the cantankerous Detroit engineer who successfully sued Ford and Chrysler for a combined $30 million for infringing on his patent designs for the intermittent windshield wiper. Kinnear apparently never met Kearns, who died of cancer at age 77 in 2005.
BUSINESS
April 24, 1990 | JAMES RISEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It is the classic David-versus-Goliath case that inventors and would-be inventors always dream about as they tinker in their garages. In 1963, Robert Kearns developed the first practical, intermittent windshield wiper, the device that makes it possible for wipers to be turned to slow speeds during misty weather. Ever since, he has been fighting the auto industry, claiming that the big companies stole his idea.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2008 | Mark Olsen, Special to The Times
"Flash of Genius" is largely about how one person's nothing is another person's everything. Take the intermittent windshield wiper, for example. I, for one, had never much thought about who designed it, where it came from or whether there was a story there. For Robert Kearns, however, it becomes the defining object of his life.
BUSINESS
May 10, 1990 | From Reuters
A federal judge declared a mistrial Wednesday when a jury was unable to agree on damages that Ford Motor Co. should pay an inventor for infringing on his patents for a widely used windshield wiper system. Inventor Robert Kearns, a former engineering professor who lives in Gaithersburg, Md., was seeking $325 million in damages from the nation's second-largest auto maker in a case that other car makers have been watching closely. U.S.
NEWS
July 13, 1990 | From Times Wire Services
The Ford Motor Co. must pay inventor Robert Kearns as much as $6 million in damages for stealing his patents for intermittent windshield wipers, a federal jury ruled today. Attorneys on both sides said the award apparently will cost Ford about 30 cents for each car it equipped with the system between 1972 and 1988, when the patents expired. "It looks like it's between $5 million and $6 million," said Ford attorney Malcolm Wheeler.
BUSINESS
December 11, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Jury Finds Chrysler Infringed on Wiper Patent: The inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper won his patent infringement suit against Chrysler Corp. It was Robert Kearns' second victory against one of the Big Three auto makers. Kearns said he is seeking $36 million from Chrysler and a 12-year contract to supply intermittent wipers to the company. The jury will meet in January to hear arguments on damages. In a 1990 case against Ford Motor Co., Kearns agreed to a $10.
BUSINESS
November 14, 1990 | From Associated Press
Robert Kearns, who owns the patent for intermittent windshield wipers, today settled a 12-year-old lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. for $10.2 million. U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn approved the settlement after spending most of a 20-minute court hearing making sure Kearns understood the terms of the deal. Kearns' lawsuits against 19 other auto makers remain active. He contends that each failed to pay him royalties for using his invention--a windshield wiper that starts and stops at intervals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2005 | From Associated Press
Robert Kearns, the inventor of intermittent windshield wipers, who won multimillion-dollar judgments against Ford and Chrysler for using his idea, has died. He was 77. Kearns died of cancer Feb. 9 at his home in suburban Baltimore, his family said. In 1967, Kearns received several patents for his design for wipers that paused between swipes, making them useful in light rain or mist. The invention allows the driver to set the interval at which the wiper sweeps the window.
BUSINESS
April 24, 1990 | JAMES RISEN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It is the classic David-versus-Goliath case that inventors and would-be inventors always dream about as they tinker in their garages. In 1963, Robert Kearns developed the first practical, intermittent windshield wiper, the device that makes it possible for wipers to be turned to slow speeds during misty weather. Ever since, he has been fighting the auto industry, claiming that the big companies stole his idea.
BUSINESS
June 29, 1990 | From Times Wire Services
The inventor who claims Ford Motor Co. and other auto makers stole his idea for an intermittent windshield wiper system did not return to court this morning after stalking out in a disagreement with a judge. An official for U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn said Robert W. Kearns, 62, had still not reappeared in court at the resumption of the trial today to determine how much Ford should pay him in the damages phase of his 12-year-old patent infringement suit.
BUSINESS
October 18, 1995 | TOM LACEKY, ASSOCIATED PRESS
A Montana company has harnessed a common fungus to consume some of the world's most devastating crop pests--then disappear without so much as a burp. * Now Mycotech Corp. of Butte is preparing to bid for a share of the $7-billion global market for agricultural chemicals. One problem: While its product is the darling of the moment, Mycotech has no ability to mass-produce it.
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