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Safety First: Patents to Protect Us at Home and in the World

Since the dawn of time, people have had to protect themselves. Cavemen had to protect themselves from large beasts like leopards and lions, and nowadays we’re concerned about protecting ourselves from diseases and manmade terrors. Some of the greatest patents have come from humanity’s need for self-preservation, from personal and home protection to protection from dangers in the world at large. Here are just a few examples, and how patents have protected the innovation that brought them into being:

Everyday and General Security

  • Home Security Camera System: In the mid 1960s, a woman named Marie Van Brittan Brown invented the home security system. Eventually this system would evolve to not only help protect our homes, but businesses too, through multiple cameras that are monitored on television screens. Walk into a building nowadays and you will be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t use CCTV, all thanks to Brown’s patent.
  • Smoke Detectors: In the old days, if something in your house caught fire when you weren’t home or while you were sleeping, no one would know, most likely causing your dwelling to burn down. 200 years ago, fires could create city-wide disasters, destroying homes and lives in a single night. In fact, it only takes a few minutes for you to pass out from smoke inhalation. It wasn’t until the 19th century that more modern smoke detectors were invented and people were able to get early warning of fire danger.
  • Mace Spray: There are a variety of security devices for personal use in self-defense, one of which is mace spray. Chemical mace spray was invented and patented after a young man’s wife had a friend who was mugged in the street. The spray would go on to be used as a police weapon and was purchased by Smith Wesson. Today it remains a controversial ethics debate topic in regards to its use as a crowd control tactic.

National Security

  • Airport Body Scanning System: From full-body scanners like millimeter wave body scanners and backscatter X-ray scanners to baggage scanners, the evolution of airport security patents has evolved with the increased need for protection. The full-body scanner was patented by Martin Annis and was revolutionary in helping to make our skies safer. Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was no method for scanning people as they went through airport security. The method for evaluating if someone was a potential threat in the skies was simply if they were displaying any suspicious behavior.
  • Door Security Locking Device: In the aftermath of the mass shootings we’ve had in recent years, schools have increasingly tried to increase security for the safety of all. A school resource officer and assistant principal in Conway, Arkansas, have patented a U-shaped metal security lockdown device called ULockIt that drops down into cylindrical slots to lock a door shut. This is just one form of door security locking device designed to prevent an active shooter from entering that has been introduced in recent years.

Have you developed a patent that could help humanity become more safe? Global Patent Solutions can help you determine if your patent idea has prior art already in existence. Contact us today to get started.