Hans Lipperhey is credited with inventing the telescope because he filed the first patent application in the Netherlands on Sept. 25, 1608. The German-born Lipperhey lived in the Netherlands, where he worked as a spectacle maker.
Lipperhey’s patent application was denied because government officials did not believe the telescope could be kept secret. Several weeks after Lipperhey’s application, fellow spectacle-maker Jacob Metius, also of the Netherlands, filed a patent application for the same telescope. Decades later, Dutch spectacle-maker Sacharias Janssen claimed to have invented the telescope. Some assume Galileo invented the telescope because he was the first to use one for astronomy.