In the early 1940's, Swiss engineer and inventor George de Mestral went on a walk with his dog. After arriving home, he saw that his clothes and his dog's coat were covered with cockleburrs. When he looked at the burrs under a microscope, he discovered they have a natural hook-like shape, which became the basis for his invention of a unique, two-sided fastener; one side with stiff "hooks" like the burrs and the other side with the soft "loops" like the fabric of his trousers. De Mestral named his invention VELCRO after the French words "velours" and "crochet." Paradoxically in French the word “scratch” is used for the same product and not “Velcro”. The French prefer to use an onomatopoeic word. He submitted his idea for patent which was granted in 1951. Velcro today is the name of a group of companies and its trademark which make genuine VELCRO® brand hook and loop fasteners. It is a multi-million dollar industry.