The inventor of the LASER had to fight for 30 years to have his patent approved, but it was worth the wait in the end!
Gordon Gould invented the LASER when he was 37 years old. He worked three days on documenting his ideas and on his notes he wrote: "Some rough calculations on the feasibility of a LASER."
That was the first time ever the acronym was used.
Unfortunately Gould was not very clued up on how to register intellectual property and was under the impression that he first had to build his invention before he could patent it.
Unfortunately he approached Charles Townes for advice on how to register a patent and shared his ideas about the LASER with him freely.
When he finally applied for a patent in 1959, Townes and Arthur Schawlow had already filed their patent applications for the invention. A historic patent battle ensued. During that time Gould had to watch how the technology he invented was used by manufacturers all over the world.
Maybe it was not such a bad thing that he had to wait 30 years to receive approval for the patent of his invention. When his patent was finally approved in 1988, after years of patent wars, 80% of lasers made in the USA were using his design.
The market for lasers was $500 million a year at that stage and Gordon Gould suddenly became a multimillionaire!