Science Fiction as Prior Art
In 1934, Heinlein was discharged from the Navy due to pulmonary tuberculosis. During a lengthy hospitalization, he developed the concept of the waterbed, and his detailed descriptions of it in three of his books constituted sufficient prior art to prevent a US patent on water beds when they became common in the 1960s.(from Wikipedia, Robert Heinlein. Footnote 9 is to a WSJ article)
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