Tech giants such as IBM, Samsung and Apple received thousands of patents each year, with many going by the wayside. That means it's hard out there for individual inventors, even if they received patents for what would otherwise be eccentric devices.
Here's a glance at some of the weirdest patent filings at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Take Benjamin Oppenheimer, for example. In 1879, the inventor received a patent for what he thought was a potentially life-saving device for humans.
Oppenheimer's fire escape system consisted of a parachute that could be attached to the head "… by which a person may safely jump out of the window of a burning building from any height and land without injury…," according to Oppenheimer's patent application, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office more than a century ago.