March 22, 1960
The first patent on a laser is issued to Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes, who assign it to Bell Telephone Laboratories.
Originally called the Microwave Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation, the MASER was the predecessor to the LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), proposed by Gould (Townes student). He tried to get a patent but his patents applications were denied, which provoked a 28-year patent dispute over the laser invention. (It wasn’t until late 1977- that Gould was issued his first patent related to lasers )