You may not think it takes a rocket scientist to create a water gun but your assumption would be inaccurate.
Lonnie Johnson is the founder of Johnson Research and Development Co., an Atlanta-based company and creators of the Super Soaker and other Nerf toy guns. He holds nearly 100 patents for his inventions and his background includes serving in the Air Force and working as a nuclear engineer for NASA.
Brilliance as you may know, has the habit of being challenged.
After toymaker giant, Hasbro purchased all licensing for the historic water gun, contractal disputes arouse. It was alleged that Hasbro skimmed out on royalty payments for five years, ranging between 2007-2012.
A resolution has been drawn with Johnson & Co coming out as the victor.
The arbitration agreement resolves a 2001 inventors dispute in which Hasbro agreed to pay Johnson royalties for products covered by his Nerf line of toys, specifically the N-Strike and Dart Tag brands, King & Spalding attorney Ben Easterlin said.
In a separate breach of contract suit filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta in February, Johnson accuses Hasbro of violating a 1996 agreement to pay him Super Soaker royalties of 2 percent for “three-dimensional products” based on the appearance of the toy and 1 percent for “two-dimensional visual representations.”
The suit says Hasbro sold water guns that were “visually similar and based upon the appearance of Super Soaker water guns that incorporate Johnson’s technology.” Johnson also wanted the court to force Hasbro to open its books to determine sales of Super Soaker products from 2006 to 2012.
History shows us that even the greatest of minds can get shorted on what’s rightfully their’s so it’s good to see Mr. Johnson and his team come out on top.
Hit the gallery to see Lonnie Johnson interact with his multi-million dollar creation as well as the latest patents in the Super Soaker brand.
Photo: AJC, AAEB, Hasbro, YouTube