Flash of Genius is a movie about Bob Kearns, the engineer who invented the intermittent windshield wiper only to have it built into Ford and other cars without permission. It is a favourite case for entrepreneurship classes about the risks associated with disclosing ideas while trying to sell them.
In researching a new paper, we came across a similar set of stories from Hollywood. One of these was particularly interesting:
Sixteen years ago, Mr. Marder began carving a niche among unhappy writers by representing Mr. Kinnear in his lawsuit against the American Broadcasting Company, alleging that the network had stolen the idea for the hit television show ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” from him. ”Greg is a very level guy, but I have never seen him more emotionally upset than by what happened with ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos,’ ” Mr. Marder said. ”We eventually won on appeal. The case was similar to Grosso, but there wasn’t the same effect because it was never published.”
Here is why it is so interesting: Greg Kinnear plays Bob Kearns in the movie. Talking about knowing and feeling your character!
By the way, the movie never made it to Australia but it is out on DVD in the US on February 17. I am still looking forward to seeing it.