Denso-Wave, a subsidiary of the Toyota Group, created the QR (Quick Response) Code back in 1994, and did not seek a patent for it.
One of the main objectives was to come up with a new barcode that allowed more data to be encoded without increasing the size of existing barcodes. This was achieved by including a second dimension.
Nokia noticed QR Codes and was the first to implemented a QR Code scanner into Mobile phones. Once mobile devices were able to scan codes easily, the technology began to gain momentum.
The image shows use of the QR code for COVID-19 updates.