Over the years many inventors apply for patents for their deaf-related
Here is an unusual story. In 1958 Dr. Patrick Flanagan applied for a patent
for a Neurophone device, which was supposed to transmit sounds through the
skin and which would bypass the normal hearing channels.
This patent was turned down. The examiner thought it was just a bone-conduction
sound transfer.
Twelve years later this patent application was re-examined, a rare occurrence. But
instead of going through the usual examination stuff, a deaf employee in the patents
office was recruited for that examination.
The deaf employee tested the Neurophone, and it worked – and instantly the patent was
It was the first time that a patent (United States Patent Number 3,393,279)
was awarded after the case was closed.