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This file contains records relating to the case of Edison v. Short, which involved conflicting claims over the telephone. An interference was declared between Edison's Case 183 for a telephone transmitter, filed on August 6, 1879, and a patent issued six days later to Short (U.S. Patent 218,582). The interference proceeding took place at the beginning of April 1880, and the Patent Office ruled in favor of Short at the end of June. This was affirmed by another ruling in September. Edison appealed to the Commissioner of Patents who once again affirmed the original decision in November 1881. Edison subsequently amended the claims in his application so that it did not conflict with Short's patent, and it was issued as U.S. Patent 252,442 on January 17, 1882. A more detailed technical explanation can be found in the book edition of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, Vol. 5, Doc. 1804. Sidney Howe Short (1858-1902), who taught physics and chemistry at the University of Denver, subsequently did important work on electric motors and street railways, receiving over five hundred U.S. and foreign patents on electrical machinery.
Related interference records can be found in the Litigation Series in Thomas A. Edison Papers, Part II (1879-1886). Courtesy of the National Archives.