A multi-faceted engineer turned patent lawyer
Darrin Burnham is an associate at Patterson + Sheridan, where he prepares and prosecutes patent applications involving various technologies ranging from artificial intelligence to biotechnology and medical devices. With a decade of IP law experience, he has the technical acumen needed to learn the ins and outs of his clients’ creative inventions and how they fit within their businesses. He uses that knowledge to draft patent applications that capture the complexity of his clients’ innovations and move their businesses forward. He also counsels inventors on trademark and brand protection.
Darrin appreciates the energy and love for innovation that all entrepreneurs share. He treats each client as his top priority — regardless of their budget or standing on the Fortune 500 list. Although he believes there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to patent law, Darrin maintains that a good law practice marries three unique interests: the product itself, intellectual property surrounding the product, and how business objectives can benefit from the product and its intellectual property. Darrin aims to help inventors determine the best way to secure patent protection and establish a business model that will make them competitive in their field, so they are free to focus on their product.
One of Darrin’s most memorable career achievements was securing a patent for a piece of technology now found in some of the most popular computer mice and used by millions of people worldwide. He often attributes his accomplishments to the application of sage advice from his various mentors in intellectual property, including litigator Terry Welch: patents and trademarks are important tools in a company’s arsenal of legal protection, but if they’re not thoughtfully prepared, they can also be a weak spot in their armor. For this reason, lawyers should carefully consider how their approach could affect litigation and enforcement when preparing and prosecuting patents.
An inventor at heart
Prior to his law career, Darrin received an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah, where he developed a passion for electronics and robotics. His student-led team won an engineering competition to develop electric tour boat motors, ultimately securing funding to design and create full-electric boats used in the Grand Canyon. As part of that project, Darrin was able to take a tour boat – powered by his team’s motor – from the base of the Glen Canyon Dam to Lake Meade. It was an unforgettable experience that affirmed he is an inventor at heart. Since then, Darrin has obtained patents for several of his own inventions.
Darrin enjoys giving back to his community. In his free time, he performs pro bono work with local universities and has given many hours volunteering with several civic youth organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America. He lives an active life and enjoys waterskiing, snowboarding, cycling, swimming, hiking, and spending time with his wife, Nicole, and their three children. Darrin is also bilingual and speaks conversational Spanish.