|Does the name Elisha Gray|
ring a bell? Didn't think so.
On February 14, 1876, Gray went to the U.S. Patent office to file a caveat, a declaration stating his intention to apply for a patent for his version of the telephone. He should’ve got there sooner. It turns out another Middle Child filed a patent for the same invention a few hours earlier. Yeah, that Bell guy.
Gray’s lawyers accused Bell of stealing the invention by engaging in bribery and shady dealings with the patent office. In fact, one patent office employee admitted he was an alcoholic deeply in debt to Bell’s lawyer. But in the end, the courts upheld Bell’s patent, finding Gray’s argument didn’t ring true.