www.burdlaw.com Inventor’s Page – information for new inventors

We don't go for glitz, our pages are simple and informational and provided as a public service for the benefit of , in this case, Independent Inventors, who are the source of many of the most important inventions in history, so that they might avoid scams and have a better chance to profit from their inventions and thus encourage others to do the same. Let us know how we can make it even more useful to you.

Bruce E. Burdick webmaster

At the same time we warn you not to get scammed, we want to let you know there is ethical help available. See the following links:

The Burdick Law Firm

Other Good Guys

For basic starting information inventors can start with the official website of the U S Patent and Trademark Office www.uspto.gov or read our articles:

What is a Patent? (Our article on the basics of patents and patent law.)

What is a Trademark? (Our article on the basics of trademarks and trademark law.)

What is a Copyright? (Our article on the basics of copyrights and copyright law.)

Some Good Inventor Product/Services Sites:

United States Patent and Trademark Office (The official site of the US Government office which examines and issues patents and trademarks.)

Nolo, Inc. (do-it-yourself legal products, also very commercial, but good products for novices)

United Inventors Association (coordinates Inventor groups in US, very informative, once a top reference warning about invention promotion scams, but now has increasing ties to promoters and thus somewhat suspect – be cautious)

Invention Manufacturing (Rich Freese, St. Louis, MO, offers free assistance on locating manufacturers and advice on how to manufacture your invention.)

GreatIdeaGear.com (inventor aids)

InventNET (chat room for inventors)

PlanetPatent (inventor aids)

inventRight (inventor aids & tools)

Ask the Inventors (email network)

Inventors HQ (inventor guidance)

Berglin, Inc.
(custom manufacturing )

The 3 Keys for Inventors:

1. DON'T GET SCAMMED! You need a patent attorney, not a promoter. Read why in our article. Read also the scam warning brochure from the US Patent Office.

2. Time is of the essence. Do a patent search & protect your rights, NOW! Generally only the first to file a patent application is considered the “inventor”.

3. Keep it secret until it is protected by filing a patent application.

Patent Searching – Our Patent Search Help Page

GAPS (Google Advanced Patent Search) (fast, powerful, user-friendly, superb quick results. If you are new to patent searching, this is the one to use)

FPO (Free Patents Online) (For the experienced searcher, searches foreign sites JPO, EPO, WIPO also, free pdf copies of patents, fast and slick. This is the one an experienced patent attorney like me will like best.)

USPTO Quick Search (official USPTO Boolean patent search engine for novices.)

Advanced Search (official US Patent Office search engine for pros. We think both GAPS and FPO are easier and more powerful)

Surf IP (Singapore's very powerful international patent search engine--for pros but computer savvy users can work it to great advantage.

Basic Information on IP a nice set of basic articles from the National Paralegal education center, actually their 8-part course syllabus, posted here by request. In many patent & trademark firms, particularly the larger ones, the paralegals know the day to day procedures as well or better than the attorneys, as the attorneys often are looking at the overall protection and the big picture while the paralegals do the detail work that requires special knowledge to be most efficient. In small law firms, the attorneys generally (but not always) are more involved with details and thus know more about such details.

Learn to be cautious about invention promoters from this Inventor Help educational site, which is now getting somewhat out of date.

Some Excellent Basic Advice Articles:

Turning your gadget into gold

How to protect your idea when pitching it to a company

Your idea, Your Rights

Inventor Resources at the US Patent & Trademark Office:

Inventors Eye Newsletters (previous issues)

Programs and Policies for Independent Inventors and Small Businesses

Welcome to the Inventor Resources Web site

Is the Inventor site for me?

Some interesting Patent facts:

1. More than 7,000,000 US Patents have been issued. About 300,000-400,000 new applications are currently being filed each year.

2. The most prolific inventor has been issued over 3500 patents, Kia Silverberg of Australia. Thomas Edison was, for nearly a century, the most prolific at 1023 patents.

3. The only President to ever get a patent was Abraham Lincoln, in 1849.

4. There is a treaty (Patent Cooperation Treaty) by which an “international patent application” filed in the inventor’s home country can be designated for extension to over 100 foreign countries. A part of the United Nations called the “World Intellectual Property Organization” (or “WIPO” or “OMPI”) in Geneva, Switzerland coordinates the extension of such applications.

5. A patent application, together with filing fees, patent attorney fees, processing fees, issue fees and maintenance fees generally costs about $10,000 and if complex, more.

How to Find a Good Patent Attorney

1. Contact BLF or search the official register (list) of patent attorneys of the US Pat & TM Office. The lower the registration number, the more experienced the attorney. Experience is good, as you want your attorney to know what to do and how best to do it from experience.

2. Call and talk to at least 3 attorneys from the list. See how helpful they are and how knowledgeable they seem. Try to find one that specializes in your size of business.

3.NEVER let an invention promoter choose your patent attorney. That is a sure way to get scammed. You want an independent attorney that works for you and a promoter will always choose one beholden to the promoter not you, which makes it hard to get good unbiased advice.

4. If you need a referral, our firm will be happy to recommend a suitable firm for your technology and size.

Trademark Basics (from the United States Patent and Trademark Office)

See our trademark resource page: http://www.burdlaw.com/tmark.htm

Trademarks protect brand names for goods or services. If for a service, it is called a “service mark” rather than a trademark. Trademarks can be registered on either a state or Federal or international level.

As of December 2010, Illinois state trademark registration, for example, is still only $10 plus attorney fees. Other states charge more, typically about $50.

Application for Federal registration in one class of goods or services is $375 plus attorney fees, but covers all states. The Government portion of the fees can be reduced to $325 by filing online and even further to $275 by using special forms that a good trademark attorney will know. Federal trademark registrations last 10 years and are renewable indefinitely so long as the trademark continues to be used.

International trademark registration is more expensive but can cover all major countries. United States trademarks can be extended to many foreign countries through a treaty called the “Madrid Protocol” at reduced expense. In the US, rights are acquired by use (common law rights) and perfected by registration. In most foreign countries, trademarks are acquired by registration and perfected by use. Novices should NOT try to register their own trademarks, but rather use a lawyer. More experienced companies will be able to file trademarks on their own without the assistance of a lawyer.

Featured Site:

www.howstuffworks.com this is a fantastic educational site dedicated to helping you understand the technology behind almost everything. If you ever wondered how something does what is does, this is the place to find out. Amazing artwork and terrific inside operational views of sorts of devices. We love this site and highly recommend it.

Our Articles for Inventors & Innovators

What is a Patent a basic article we have for our new patent clients

Foreign Patent Protection when you want to expand overseas

What is a Copyright the basics of copyright protection and strategy

Handling Confidential Information a corporate guideline

Patent Infringement 101 some basic principles of patent litigation

Westrum Report good policy information

SCORE Reference Materials - Great business start up materials

Some Excellent Basic Advice Articles:

Turning your gadget into gold (Forbes)

How To Protect Your Invention When Pitching It (Forbes)

Useful book: Patent It Yourself (says not to)

This inventor’s Page is presented to you as a public service by


618-462-3450 or 314-256-9314

Fax: 618-208-1712


Protecting creations by creating protections

We are pleased to offer a free ½ hour consultation to all new clients.

 This page last revised 2011-06-27