LITIGATION: Slap! Ford Gets Wiped

Slap! Ford Gets Wiped

Some 6.9 million new American cars were equipped last year with a handy feature: intermittent windshield-wiper systems, which allow drivers to fine- tune the speed of their blades. Since 1982 Ford alone is believed to have sold millions of cars containing the device. But now the automaker may have to pay for every single one, which could mean a windfall for a retired inventor in Gaithersburg, Md. For twelve years, Robert Kearns, 62, tried to persuade courts that he invented the electronic device for the wiper system. Last week a federal jury in Detroit ruled that Ford had infringed on the...

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