The Telephone Cases
126 U.S. 1 (1888)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

The Telephone Cases, 126 U.S. 1 (1888)

The Telephone Cases

Nos. 10, 381, 382, 709, 770, 771

Argued January 24-28, 31, February 1-4, 7-8, 1887

Decided March 19, 1888

126 U.S. 1

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED

STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS

Syllabus

It appears from the proof in these causes that Alexander Graham Bell was the first discoverer of the art or process of transferring to, or impressing upon, a continuous current of electricity in a closed circuit, by gradually changing its intensity, the vibrations of air produced by the human voice in articulate speech in a way to cause the speech to be carried to and received by a listener at a distance on the line of the current, and this discovery was patentable under the patent laws of the United States.

In order to procure a patent for a process, the inventor must describe his invention with sufficient clearness and precision to enable those skilled in the matter to understand what his process is, and must point out some practicable way of putting it into operation; but he is not required to bring the art to the highest degree of perfection.

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