March 10, 1927 – Inventor of intermittent wipers, Robert Kearns, born

When Robert Kearns approached automakers about licensing the technology for the intermittent windshield wiper system, which he received a patent for in 1967, they all passed. Yet, beginning in 1969 a similar system began to show up as an option in new vehicles. Kearns, born on this day in 1927, would go after the Big Three for patent infringement, starting with Ford in 1978 and Chrysler in 1982. The Ford case came to a close in 1990 when the automaker was ordered to pay Kearns $10.1 million in damages. Following the success of the case Kearns acted as his own lawyer against Chrysler, with the verdict coming down as a victory for Kearns in 1992. By 1995 he would receive approximately $30 million in compensation from Chrysler. Subsequent cases against GM and a variety of other cases were dismissed due to missed deadlines for filings. One page of original patent, filed Dec 1, 1964, awarded, Nov. 7, 1967.

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