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Today, the U.S. Patent Office receives six times as many applications for patents as it did in 1980. Due to the ever-evolving technological landscape, innovation is high -- and sharing these inventions with the entire world is possible with just the click of a button. At a time when everyone is clamoring to come up with the next big tech idea, it's become more important than ever to seek out patent protection. If you're a tech-savvy consumer, you'll probably be glad that creators went through the patent process for the following inventions.

  1. GoPro: The founder and CEO of GoPro, Nicholas Woodman, first filed a patent for a unique invention -- a harness that attached a camera to one's body -- in 2004. This invention would allow extreme sports athletes to surf, kiteboard, rock climb, or dance with a camera safely and securely attached to themselves, therefore letting them capture all the action in a totally new way. But it wasn't until 2009, when Woodman's company developed and released its own line of video cameras and attachment methods, that the GoPro's popularity really took off. Some have subsequently tried to imitate this concept for their own gain, but thanks to GoPro's patent, their design remains the leading model.


  2. Square: In 2010, Square filed about a dozen patents to protect their credit card reader -- and independent business owners are thankful they did. Founding engineer Sam Wen developed a portable, easy-to-use system that allows vendors to offer credit card services virtually anywhere they need to be, all right from their cell phone. Frequenters of craft fairs and quirky coffee shops have likely seen this piece of technology quite a bit. The technology is surprisingly affordable (there's even a free version, though the company does charge transaction fees), making it possible for virtually all businesses to accept debit and credit cards.


  3. Dropbox: While this patent doesn't involve a piece of tech you can physically hold in your hand, it's proven to be every bit as useful. Dropbox managed to become the trailblazer in digital file sharing, making it easy to share and instantly synchronize documents and folders across a specific network. MIT alums and co-founders Arash Ferdowski and Drew Houston went through the patent process back in 2010 for their Dropbox design. The technology's unique setup and ability to share and edit documents in such a simple way has solidified it as a techie favorite, even with the other alternatives (like Google Docs) that are now available.

If you have a fantastic idea for a new product, you'll want to do exactly what these innovators did and protect your design. Our patent lawyers in Denver can get you started on the patent process and take steps to ensure your invention remains one-of-a-kind.

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