David & Goliath, The Remake

Pitching massive corporations on a new idea can be a treacherous road. They can ignore the pitch, steal the idea or worse. It’s the stuff of legend and at time, material for a Hollywood movie.

According to Ad Age, this week Universal Studios releases “Flash of Genius,” a film that paints Ford Motor Co. as a corporate ogre.
The film is based on the true story of Detroit engineering professor Robert Kearns (played by Greg Kinnear), who invented the intermittent windshield wiper in the late 1960s and shopped it around to carmakers.
Mr. Kearns got a series of patents for his wiper design in 1967. He shopped it around to various automakers, but never reached any deals. Ford debuted intermittent wipers in 1969; other car companies eventually followed. In the 1970s, Mr. Kearns sued two dozen automakers for patent infringement.
Detroit Free Press also has a detailed article about the film’s release.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.