Bruce E Burdick

Bruce E Burdick

The Burdick Law Firm
  • Arbitration & Mediation, Entertainment & Sports, Intellectual Property...
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A

Mr. Burdick is an expert patent, trademark and copyright attorney who specializes in intellectual property law of all types, including litigation and prosecution for businesses and individuals alike. He is frequently retained by other patent attorneys for litigation matters due to his incredible array of corporate and private law experience and is nationally known as an advocate for independent inventors and start-up businesses. He runs one of the world's best intellectual property websites and in keeping it current, keeps himself up to date in all areas of intellectual property practice.

He has been a Registered Patent Attorney since 1974. He is licensed to practice in Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas, before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Western District Of Missouri, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. He is both a Certified Mediator in Intellectual Property and a Certified Arbitrator in Intellectual Property by the World Intellectual Property Organization of Geneva, Switzerland as well as an approved neutral for the US District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri.

Practice Areas
  • Arbitration & Mediation
  • Entertainment & Sports
  • Intellectual Property
  • Patents
  • Free Consultation
    first 1/2 hour free consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    via PayPal
  • Contingent Fees
    very selective cases
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    hourly or fixed fee rates alternative billing methods available
Professional Experience
Owner, Managing Attorney
The Burdick Law Firm
- Current
A full service patent trademark copyright law firm. A virtual firm with a primary attorney, Mr. Burdick, and a variable number of associate attorneys with widely varying local, national and international expertise.
University of Texas - Austin
J.D. / Law
Stevens Institute of Technology
B.S. / Engineering
Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity
Activities: Met. Eng., Mech. Eng., Sailing Team, Band
Professional Associations
- Current
Activities: Pat. TM Copr Section
Activities: Licensing Committee, Administration Committee, Litigation Committee
Articles & Publications
Burdlaw Intellectual Property Portal
The Burdick Law Firm
Legal Answers
9 Questions Answered

Q. How can I protect a new recipe I have come up with for barbeque sauce? It is really good.
A: I would agree with the prior answer. A trademark is what you need to use. The product will sell by name once it gets established. People don't really check in detail for what's in A-1, Maul's or Masterpiece, Sweet Baby Ray's or Bob's Country Sauce. They order it by name once they decide they like the flavor. I have had several sauce clients and never recommended a patent since, to have any chance of getting it through the patent office, it would have to be so narrowly drawn as to be super simple to avoid and thus serve only to describe in great deal the secret sauce recipe. That is, a patent is a bad deal for a BBQ sauce manufacturer, unless it relates to special non-obvious new equipment or manufacturing methods the use of which by others could easily be detected so that infringement could be discovered.
Q. A book I wrote was pirated and published in Russia, selling 15,000 copies. Is there anything I can do?
A: The prior answer refers to a Copyright Office brochure. The links at have changed. The circular on International Copyright is now at The prior answer also says there is something you can do. The actual fact is that relative to infringement in Russia there is little you can do, unless the Russian publisher tries to sell in the US or elsewhere outside Russia or the number of copies is sufficiently large to make litigation economically viable. 15,000 copies will probably not be enough. While you can take advantage of a treaty called the Berne Convention of 1989 and the Universal Copyright Convention of 1955 which Russia joined after the fall of the former USSR, the country remains so riddled with corruption that copyright enforcement there is seldom cost effective except on huge items.
Q. Do I have to have a working prototype to file for a patent on my idea?
A: No. You have to be able to describe the claimed invention in such a clear and specific manner as to enable a person having ordinary skill in the relevant art to make the invention. This is so that the public has possession of the invention when the patent expires. You also have to describe the best mode of your invention known to you at the time you file your patent application. For a regular utility patent application you also have to conclude the application with enumerated claims that define the invention in such terms as to reasonably inform those of ordinary skill what is covered so that they know whether or not they infringe. In view of these rather strict description requirements, the prior requirements of submitting a prototype have long ago been abolished. The prototypes you sometimes see displayed in museums are relics of a bygone era. In view of these strict descriptive requirements you really need to get professional assistance from a patent attorney (or patent agent) in preparation of your patent application. It is just too important to try to do yourself unless you financially have no other choice. Bruce Burdick, Registered Patent Attorney since 1974 618-462-3450
Q. Is it a violation of appropriation of name if i publish a book using a pen name the same as a celebrities true name?
A: I think you can do it if you do it in the right way and have an intellectual property lawyer guiding you in the proper disclaimers and distinctions to avoid likelihood of confusion of source. It depends on the uniqueness of the celebrities true name, and whether by "true name" you mean stage name or actual name. For example, if you were to adopt the pen name "Lady Gaga", "Elton John", "Oprah Winfrey" or "Elvis Presley" you would be taking a huge legal risk no matter what disclaimer you tried. On the other hand, if you for example adopted "John Wayne" or "The Lone Ranger" or "Winston Churchill", I could structure a way to keep you in the clear. Of course you probably know that many celebrities don't use their real names. If you are serious about this call to discuss. Bruce Burdick 618-462-3450
Q. Canadian Company sold a machine in US without filing any patent Is their work in public Domain any one can copy?
A: Probably, however patent applications are not published for 18 months after filing, so do not rely on someone else's word on no filing having been made. I am reading between the lines to think there is a Canadian patent application or patent on this machine, but none elsewhere and you are wanting to copy it in the US and sell it outside of Canada. I think the answer will be yes that is okay, but the devil is in the details and as a registered patent attorney with 35 years experience I know that review by a patent attorney is needed to get a reliable clearance to proceed. Also, you need to determine if there are other US patents that might apply and a patent attorney is the best equipped to do that for you. Patents are Federal law so any Registered Patent Attorney in the US can advise you. Bruce Burdick 618-462-3450
Q. I invented and had a prototype working for 2 years i called a company and they stole my invention
A: I presume your question is what are your legal options. The general rule is that once the invention is public more than a year you cannot patent it. There is an exception for experimental use, but when you say "I had a prototype working for 2 years", it sounds like the experimentation may have ended more than a year ago and the invention become public domain. However, you should talk with a patent lawyer right away (like today), because the nature of your invention and the prototype and the "working" may be such that the 1 year period may not have run yet and patent protection may yet be available. Also, if the company really "stole" your invention there may be trade secret misappropriation upon which you might base a claim. All these factors are relative complex for you but generally fairly routine for an intellectual property lawyer. Bottom line: you probably have some options if you get to an intellectual property lawyer without delay. Bruce Burdick 618-462-3450
Q. One of my employees designed a great logo for my business. Am I safe to use it without paying them extra for it?
A: NO, you are not safe. You need an agreement with the employee that assigns you the copyright to be safe. There are exceptions, such as where that was a normal part of the employee's job or where the "great logo" is a simple trademark or service mark rather than an artistic design. You need to talk to an intellectual property lawyer to protect yourself and get this set up legally to where you really are safe. There are other important considerations you have not mentioned, namely copyright registration, trademark registration, dba filings, tradename clearance, etc. You will save a lot of time and money by seeing an intellectual property lawyer to clear and protect this logo now before you commit a bunch of money to using and marketing a new logo. Otherwise, you risk being forced to stop using it. This is normally not expensive legal work, so do not cut corners at this stage. Get this solved before you invest in the logo. Bruce Burdick 618-462-3450
Q. I am a divorced dad of 2 boys i only get them everyother weekend do i need a bed room for them
A: There is not a set answer. Normally NO, unless the Judge has ordered you to have a bedroom for them. It is a question that depends on related facts, such as: age of the boys, what they are used to at their mother's place, what you are providing in lieu of a bedroom, how much privacy and security they have, whether they can sleep relatively undisturbed and in relative comfort where you are putting them, whether you will have a sexual partner in the same room, etc. For example, a sleeper sofa in a LR would normally be fine so long as the boys can actually sleep soundly there.
Q. What is a prisoner petetion?
A: A petition is a request for court action, so a prisoner petition is a request by a prisoner to a judge requesting the judge to take some action. If it is request in a pending case, it is usually called a motion rather than a petition.
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Contact & Map
3656 Western Ave.
Alton, IL 62002
Telephone: (618) 462-3450