The origins of even the simplest technology are sometimes best remembered not for the ingenuity of the inventor’s imagination but rather for the endless legal disputes it engendered. In the annals of famous patent litigation, the intermittent windshield wiper holds a pride of place. The genesis of this useful but seemingly incidental feature of the modern automobile even attracted Hollywood scriptwriters in search of a latter-day David and Goliath tale that became a 2008 release called Flash of Genius.