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CNBC Disruptor 50
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12 of the tech world's best-protected recent patents

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office seal is displayed inside the headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Patents make good fences

Many start-ups receive tons of funding for swiftly taking control of an untapped market. Take Uber's $66 billion valuation. But that doesn't mean the ride-sharing company has such great patent protection. In fact, according to MCAM International, which provided CNBC with proprietary patent-scoring information for many Silicon Valley start-ups, Uber scores only so-so in the intellectual property department.

Being a first-mover to disrupt a sector is big, "but the bigger thing is, these are the companies that have taken the time and effort to make sure — before they raise their hand to say they've got a business opportunity to put out there — they've ring-fenced it with some proprietary rights that make their value higher," MCAM founder David Martin said during a recent CNBC appearance. "They're just better companies in terms of how they're going to last over the long haul."

For the 2016 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, CNBC enlisted MCAM to provide new visibility into the technology at the foundation of disruptive business models. MCAM chief analyst Dex Wheeler developed a scoring system for patent protection, defensibility of technology and disruptive potential (i.e., whether each company's technology represents a foundational shift in an industry or is merely an incremental improvement on an existing standard).

Here's a look at the 12 CNBC Disruptor companies that received scores of "100" on patent protection — and high marks overall.

By CNBC's David Spiegel
Posted 16 June 2016

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images