Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
This is what you are looking for:

Similarly, Carl Zeiss (the West German guys) negotiated
for several years in the late 1960's with Pentax concerning the possible
production of a 35mm SLR camera should the Zeiss Foundation kill Zeiss
Ikon. The fruits of that effort led to Pentax acquiring the Zeiss-designed
K mount and the rights to the Zeiss T* coating, which Pentax marketed under
the 'SMC' label. (This negotiation, while unsuccessful with Pentax, who
didn't feel up to producing Zeiss lenses to Zeiss standards, later shifted
to Yashica and led to the modern Contax SLR camera.)
Ian, this is essentially correct as I remember. I know that the mount was designed in Oberkocken and recollect some speculation that this was the origin of the 'K' designation. As soon as I get hold of Marc Small I will get a bit more info