movie reel icon

Alumnus Robert W. Kearns subject of 2008 film Flash of Genius

Robert W. Kearns, who earned his PhD from Case Institute of Technology in 1964, invented the intermittent windshield wiper, for which he received patents in 1967.

Though Kearns tried to get automakers to adopt the system, he was unable to reach a licensing deal. Just a few years later, the wiper systems began to be offered in cars.

Thus began a decades-long legal battle, with Kearns suing Ford and Chrysler for patent infringement—eventually winning more than $20 million.

His story is the focus of Flash of Genius, a 2008 film starring Greg Kinnear as Kearns.

This week, we asked the campus community if they could name the film, and most of those who answered this week’s Connect question responded correctly.

Learn more about the film, and find out more about Kearns in a recent issue of Think magazine.