Saturday, October 04, 2008

NYT on "Flash of Genius"

The New York Times [Oct. 3] quotes Greg Kinnear on "Flash of Genius": I just fell in love with the story because it really isn’t about the intermittent windshield wiper, it’s about someone who has a dream — like so many of us do — and he decided he wasn’t going to take it when somebody stole his dream. What I was attracted to was that the story was about principle, and that people could really understand and relate to that. That’s what I was drawn to. It’s a classic American tale, and I think when you sit there and watch the movie, it opens up to that. You get way past the idea of what the invention was and really get to the core of what the film is.

CBS quotes Kinnear mentioning the term "patent troll" in an odd way--> "I think a lot of people -- it's a little unsettling watching the movie -- people are like well, drop this thing, get out of it, finish it, but the truth is, I think people have to consider, this is an idea. He wasn't a patent troll, a guy who was tied up with ideas. This is a guy who created this idea, was born out of a personal handicap, and he had a real sense that this was a thing that he had been violated," Kinnear said.

CBS also notes a previous working title: "It was originally called 'Windshield Wiper Man.' I thought it was a superhero with a squeegee and the cape," Kinnear chuckled. "But once I read it, I was taken with the story. It's an unusual kind of American journey and a guy who wouldn't let go. Ford kind of picked the wrong guy to tangle with."

Kinnear is also quoted in the Globe and Mail(a newspaper which was not silent in expressing its views in the Blackberry case)-->

Court cases are messy. They end up in certain grey areas. They are going to allow for a certain amount of money to be paid out. And that's all good," says Kinnear. "But what is money? How much money is enough to claim that he was right and they were wrong? Those are very unclear colours. The way that film is powerful, if the story is told well, particularly in a case like this, is that it paints a more complete picture. And even though their father is represented with some very human, flawed conditions, I think they feel great satisfaction having the whole journey expressed in a two-hour film."

The maverick inventor's fight against the auto makers, who appeared to steal his windshield design, became like "a third person" in the family, Kinnear says. It was part of "the obsession or the drive that Kearns had, that I'm sure made him a good father, a good inventor - and then ultimately took him beyond the family and on a different path. In his real life, he never left that path. He fought literally to his death."

**Separately, note case in ND Ill by nventor Jacob Krippelz, Sr. for patent infringement against Ford Motor Co. involving automotive exterior mirror lighting systems. Jury returned verdict in inventor' s favor in the amount of $23 million.


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