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Up Front

2003 Most Distinguished HBCU Grad awarded $72.9M
By USBE Online
Nov 8, 2013, 17:40

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Lonnie Johnson, president and founder, Johnson Research and Development, Inc.
Tuskegee University graduate Lonnie Johnson has been awarded nearly $73 million in royalties from toymaker Hasbro Inc., according to news reports. Johnson Research and Development Co. and founder Lonnie Johnson have been in a royalty dispute with Hasbro since the company filed a claim against the giant toy company for underpaid royalties, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution said.

Johnson holds more than 100 patents in a wide range of innovative technologies, but he is best known as inventor of the popular Super Soaker water gun, which has generated approximately $600 million in sales and has made him a hero to children nationwide.

Before launching his own businesses, Johnson served with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a senior systems engineer on multiple space-based programs, including Galileo, the Cassini Mission to Jupiter, and the Mars Observer. More recently, he has led an advanced technology research and development company that specializes in developing environmental and energy-related products in areas such as heat transfer, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and control systems. He also owns Excellatron Solid State, LLC, another high-tech company that introduced a multilayer lithium ion battery which represents a major breakthrough in battery technology.

He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1975, from Tuskegee University College of Engineering, Architecture and Physical Sciences. He also holds a master's degree in nuclear engineering and an honorary Ph.D. in science from Tuskegee.

In 2003, Johnson was one of 20 people featured in the US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine article "Distinguished Black College and University Graduates" who represented the thousands of success stories from historically Black colleges and universities.

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The Atlanta-based company behind the Super Soaker water gun and Nerf toy guns has been awarded nearly $73 million in royalties from toymaker Hasbro Inc., according to the law firm King & Spalding.

Johnson Research and Development Co. and founder Lonnie Johnson have been in a royalty dispute with Hasbro since February, when the company filed a claim against the giant toy company. According to King & Spalding, which along with the A. Leigh Baier P.C. law firm represented Johnson, Hasbro underpaid royalties for the Nerf line toys from 2007 to 2012.

“In the arbitration we got everything we asked for,” said Atlanta attorney Leigh Baier. “The arbitrator ruled totally in Lonnie’s favor.” The attorney also said Johnson “is very pleased” with the outcome

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Black Technology

A virtual spokesperson for black technology, BlackEngineer aspires to serve as leading news and information provider on the advancements in black technology with deep insights into black engineering, black entrepreneurs, black education, and historically black colleges and universities (HBCU). In fact, BlackEngineer is one of the very few to promote the achievements of black technology. The Black engineer of the year awards (BEYA) is one of our successful ventures to promote black technology, progress and achievements made in black technology, and the sentiments of the Black community in the US, the UK, Caribbean, and Africa.


Black Entrepreneurs

Black technology entrepreneurs are increasingly providing the horsepower that drives the global economy. Over the last two decades, black entrepreneurs have created more jobs, and contributed much more to the economic expansion of the Black community as a whole, than any black pastor or politician. Black entrepreneurs are taking risks and building businesses that generate economic growth and increase prosperity in underserved areas, as more minority-owned and minority-focused businesses emerge, willing to serve the financial needs of Black entrepreneurs. US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine's annual list of Top Black Technology Entrepreneurs reflects the expanding scope of leading Black entrepreneurs in information technology, homeland security, and defense.