Hi, I'm John Rizvi, the patent professor, did you know that the first person to apply for a patent on an idea gets it, there is no second or third prizes in the patenting world. One of my favorite stories relates to the invention of the telephone, and this shows how critical it is to follow the pattern first. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray were competing inventors with a similar idea to telephone, the two men were determined to beat each other to the patent office with their own versions of the telephone. They both knew that the telephone would replace the telegraph as a means of communication. On February 14 1876, both men were ready. They had assembled working models and all the required documentation. Alexander Graham Bell got to the patent office just a few hours before Elisha Gray. This meant that he was the first in line for the patent. Although Gray's version of the telephone was arguably better than bells, Bell got his paperwork in first and ended up winning the patent instead of gray. Getting the patent first made Bell, a household name, and one of the best known inventors in American history. Elisha Gray, on the other hand, became a historical footnote, who is barely remembered outside the patent world. Today, things are a lot different than they were in Alexander Graham Bell's day. The Patent Office no longer requires prototypes. In fact, they don't even allow prototypes. But one thing that hasn't changed is that the first person to file a patent still wins. Don't be a footnote, like Alicia gray. Work with me, the patent professor, and let me help you be first across the finish line.
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