Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig is a veteran-owned law firm with a global footprint. Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig lawyers provide businesses and individuals with a full array of business and estate legal services.

Firm Overview

We are straight talking advisers and zealous advocates for those we represent. We invest in success by establishing long-term relationships with clients built on trust in our abilities. We are not just your lawyers--our depth of experience includes lawyers who are also business owners, patent-holders, military veterans, commercial pilots, prosecutors, aerospace engineers, MBAs, and scholars. Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig is a veteran-owned law firm with a global footprint. Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig lawyers provide businesses and individuals with a full array of business and estate legal services. Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig focuses on practical business outcomes tailored to client goals. The firm has broken the traditional model with a client-centric philosophy. Founded by US Army veterans who apply an “in the trenches” flat hierarchy approach to the practice of law, this allows our clients to only pay for lawyers who produce a real work product. Our team, at all levels, will deliver the highest degree of service with an efficiency that translates to lower legal bills and better outcomes. This balanced approach allows our firm to successfully compete – and win – against elite boutique law firms and big brand-name law firms while offering the best value and results for our clients.

Main Office

Leesburg VA (HQ)
211 Church St., SE
Suite 225
Leesburg VA 20175


(703) 777-7319


(703) 777-3656


Office Information

Office Hours


Office Manager

Jane Woodruff

Languages Spoken

English, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin

Other Offices

Vienna, VA
1870 The Exchange SE

Chicago, IL
55 E. Monroe

Fort Collins, CO
8010 S. County Road
Fort Collins

New York, NY
31 W. 34 Street
New York

Pasadena, CA
790 E. Green Street

San Juan, PR
151 Calle San Francisco
San Juan

Richmond, VA
8003 Franklin Farms Drive

Tampa, FL
612 W. Bay Street

Toronto, ON
250 Yonge Street

Washington, DC
1717 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Wilmington, DE
1000 N. West Street

Intellectual Property

We are a one-stop shop for all your intellectual property needs (patent, trademark and copyright). From filing and prosecution to ongoing management, monitoring and disputes - we can handle all of your IP needs.

Our intellectual property team is comprised of professors, engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs. They bring that knowledge to all aspects of their representation from pre-filing due diligence such as patent and trademark clearance searches and opinions, to responding to office actions and settling and litigating infringement disputes. Our intellectual property lawyers aren't afraid to stand up for your rights. While we aim to settle disputes through negotiation, our team is skilled in infringement litigation and offers world-class representation in court. Trademarks: A trademark can be any type of distinct symbol that represents your company, a valuable commodity that you need to legally establish and protect. The trademark prosecution lawyers at Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC can ensure your trademarks remain uniquely yours, helping with the trademark prosecution process, filing timely responses to any office actions and providing strong representation during Trademark and Trial Appeal Board (TTAB) proceedings. A federally registered trademark is a powerful way to protect your business's name or logo and investments made in advertising and promotion. When disputes arise about eligibility for a federal registration, they are commonly litigated in a specialized forum called the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), which is a branch of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. TTAB procedures in trademark opposition and trademark cancellation proceedings are fairly unique and differ from a traditional litigation in state or federal court. Accordingly, to protect a federal registration, it is important to associate with an trademark litigation lawyer that has experience in representing trademark owners nationwide in these unique cases. Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig's trademark litigation lawyers are well-versed in U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board practice and have represented numerous domestic and international companies from small start-ups to large corporations across a wide variety of markets in defending their rights to a federal trademark registration. Our TTAB practice includes: • Trademark Opposition proceedings • Trademark Cancellation proceedings • Ex Parte Appeals of final refusals issued by the Trademark Examiner • Concurrent Use Proceedings • Trademark Dispute Settlement Negotiations, including negotiations of coexistence agreements and licensing agreements We also offer low cost flat fee trademark search services, as well as monitoring and docketing services, which can help avoid disputes before they arise. Copyright: Although copyright protection technically exists as soon as a creative work has been created, securing a federal registration has a number of advantages. Copyright registration offers substantial benefits. Without a federal registration, it is more difficult to enforce your rights to stop acts of infringement, and a federal registration also avoids disputes about authorship by providing evidence of the date of creation. A federal registration is therefore extremely important in stopping infringement, maintaining control of a work, and avoiding costly legal disputes. Your creative works of expression may be your most valuable assets. If they are not fully protected with federal copyright registration, now is the time; a legal dispute in the future will be far more costly and time-consuming than any fees you'll pay for federal copyright registration today. Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig's experienced copyright registration lawyers have filed copyright applications for a wide variety of clients, including major film studios, photographers, to software developers, writers, musicians, and visual artists. We have also prosecuted copyright applications and requests for reconsideration of application refusals, assisted our clients with complex licensing arrangements, and resolved a number of complicated copyright disputes. Copyright owners are entitled by law to recover statutory damages, and they become eligible to recover attorney fees against infringers. Statutory damages are awarded by the courts and do not require the copyright owner to prove any specific loss. Domain Names Disputes: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the private sector, non-profit corporation responsible for databases related to the namespaces of the Internet and for guaranteeing the Internet's stability and security. Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig counsels and represents our business clients regarding disputes handled under the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Disputes regarding domain names can emerge from legitimate commercial competition as well as from misunderstandings and business opportunism. Misunderstandings are common regarding the rules governing the registration and use of domain names.


We handle hundreds of new patent applications each year for everything from simple mechanical inventions, to complex electrical patents, chemical patents, biotechnology patents and software and app patents.

In today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, more and more people are creating wonderful products that make life easier and more enjoyable for everyone. Unfortunately there are always those individuals who look to make a fast buck by copying what's already on the market. While we can't promise that such an occurrence will never happen, we can make sure your ideas and products are properly registered with the government, and that patents and trademarks are secured so that you're protected. When someone does try to cash in on your success, you'll have all the evidence documenting that you followed standard procedures, thus enabling you to win the case. When it comes time to license or get the technology into the marketplace we are there for you. For entrepreneurs and small businesses we offer a simple, low-cost online application process. All you have to do is follow the provided links, and you'll be able to file your patent, copyright or trademark online in minutes. By submitting it through us, we are recorded as your US patent attorney and are able to be the go-between in all related matters. This keeps your information private, and puts a barrier between you and con artists who may try to mislead and cheat you. If you do need further assistance from one of our US patent attorneys, we offer flat rate services for both patent and trademark actions. Besides our easy-to-use option for smaller clients who may not have the resources to have us handle everything, we also offer personalized services for larger companies who need one-on-one attention. Among the services we offer are: • Fling and searching patents in the United States and Worldwide • Registration of patents, trademarks and copyrights • Protection of brand identities • Management of intellectual property portfolios • Counsel on business intelligence and trade secrets • Trademark monitoring • Counsel in responding to self-completed applications Protect Your Patent with Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC You've worked hard to build a brand, business and reputation that you're proud of; don't let anyone take that away from you. A team of more than 20 attorneys is here to help. Whether your business needs assistance protecting the company's intellectual property, or you're an entrepreneur who's bursting with ideas and needs legal protection, our team at Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig can help you. We offer an array of services that help you protect and defend your intellectual property and physical products. Contact us today for an evaluation! Infringement: Patent protection fosters commercial innovation and creativity. It's a driving force in many sectors of the economy. A number of companies view their patent portfolios as absolutely essential to their ongoing business, both for exploiting the patented technologies as well as serving as a tool for settling infringement claims through cross-licensing agreements. Patents truly are the lifeblood of the biotechnology, computing, electronics, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and software industries, among many others. Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig's experienced patent infringement attorneys have litigated and settled a number of patent infringement matters on behalf of clients who have been both plaintiffs and defendants. We have represented clients in a wide range of industries, from electronics and telecommunications to mining, heavy manufacturing, and consumer goods. Our patent infringement litigation team is constantly re-evaluating the client's risks and benefits during the course of litigation, re-assessing settlement and litigation strategies on an ongoing basis as new facts are discovered. Our attorneys fully understand that, in many cases, putting a stop to the infringing conduct and preserving a client's market share can be just as important or even more important than financial remedies, and we often seek restraining orders and preliminary injunctions early in an infringement case to accomplish precisely those goals. Our patent infringement attorney litigation team has significant experience litigating and resolving patent disputes in a number of contexts and industries, and on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. We bring that experience to the table through all stages of the dispute resolution process, from the initial evaluation of the case through settlement efforts and ultimately trial.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I started the firm after leaving active military service and then obtaining a degree in biotechnology and an MBA. At the time I was also the CEO of a start-up biotechnology company (called Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. - with which I am still involved. Over time as partners with specialties joined the firm we evolved into the AV rated, AVVO 10.0 top 2.5% 25 lawyer intellectual property law firm. Small enough to care, big enough to be dangerous and manage IP portfolios for patent and trademark clients ranging from one-person start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

What experience or education distinguishes your lawyers from others?

Our diverse backgrounds in software and process patents, biotechnology, electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineering as well as boasting ex-military officers and and lawyers with MBAs makes us the choice of intelligent, thoughtful and yet cost conscious business both small and large around the United States. Located mere minutes from the United States Patent & Trademark office we are strategically located to deliver value.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Business seeks profit. Uniquely, we embrace our clients' understanding of their business goals first and work backwards to a sensible legal course of action. Trademark and patent litigation, business disputes, government contracts and both US and international IP patents, trademarks and copyrights are just a few of the concerns that we handle for businesses the world over. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies and sovereign governments, our talented Washington DC business lawyers consistently manage disputes, transactions, and intellectual property assets in an aggressive and cost-effective manner.

Cortland Putbrese

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC

Cortland's practice primarily focuses on complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, products liability, insurance coverage, employment, and political law matters. He also represents clients in nationwide alcohol beverage control licensing and regulatory matters.

Cortland has extensive experience representing and advising Fortune 500 companies in multimillion-dollar lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country. He is highly skilled in all aspects of the pretrial and trial stages of litigation, and he has represented various foreign corporations, including companies in Japan, Germany, Canada and China, and worked with counsel around the globe. In addition, he routinely counsels start-up companies and assists them with their business planning and legal needs. Prior to joining Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig, Cortland practiced with a prominent international law firm.

Cortland served as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond School of Law for almost eight years, where he taught first-year students. He has authored various publications, including a chapter in the National Business Institute's Advanced Winery and Vineyard Law course book, and he has served as a contributor to the U.S. State Trademark and Unfair Competition Law publication, A.M. Best's Insurance Law Digest, and the Tort Law Desk Reference: A Fifty-State Compendium. His observations on national and Virginia politics have also appeared in the Daily Telegraph (London, England), Aamulehti (Finland), Washington Examiner, and Richmond Times-Dispatch newspapers.

Recently, the Governor of Virginia appointed Cortland to the Board of Corrections, which oversees the Virginia Department of Corrections and which promulgates regulations that govern the state prison and jail system. In 2007, the Attorney General of Virginia selected him to serve as special counsel to represent the state in certain cases. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner has also appointed Cortland and Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig as the state's special counsel for the purpose of collecting monies owed to employees.


University of Virginia
B.A., High Distinction,

Washington and Lee University School of Law
J.D. Law,

David Ludwig

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC

David's practice focuses on civil litigation in the areas of patent, trademark, copyright, internet / domain names, commercial transactions, government contracts, community associations, and bankruptcy law / creditors' rights, as well as trademark and copyright prosecution, and corporate and small business law. He is co-chair of the firm's litigation group, supervising several lawyers, and he has served as an attorney for local and national clients in federal and state court litigation and arbitration matters, as well as in bankruptcy proceedings, TTAB disputes (trademark Notice of Opposition and trademark Petition to Cancel proceedings), domain name disputes (ACPA, UDRP, and URS proceedings), government contract bid protests and Tucker Act litigation, and numerous other forums and proceedings.

David Ludwig has represented manufacturing companies in complex patent infringement matters, technology companies in trademark infringement matters, and copyright holders in infringement actions against the likes of Disney and ABC. In 2012, David made new law in Virginia by successfully arguing to the Virginia Supreme Court that a prevailing homeowner is entitled to recover attorneys' fees in a claim against a Homeowners Association that has violated the provisions of its own governing documents.

David attended law school at The George Washington University Law School where he served as a student teacher of legal research and writing and an articles editor for the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Quarterly Journal. Prior to joining the firm, David worked for a boutique D.C. firm that specialized in litigation and legislative policy work in the areas of copyright and constitutional law.

Currently, in addition to his work with the firm, David also serves on the Board of Directors of Every Citizen Has Opportunities, Inc., a non-profit that provides comprehensive, individualized employment, vocational training, and community integration opportunities for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. David is a LegalZoom "Advantage" Attorney who provides LegalZoom.com visitors with insightful answers to their business-related legal questions and concerns. David is also an adjunct professor of scholarly writing at The George Washington University Law School, working with intellectual property law students that are writing scholarly articles for publication, he sits on the editorial Board of the AIPLA Quarterly Journal, and he regularly speaks and conducts seminars on internet, trademark, intellectual property, litigation, and creditors' rights issues.


The George Washington University Law School
J.D. Law,

Naropa University
M.A. Religious Studies,

Sonoma State University
B.A. Philosophy,

Ellis Bennett

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC

Ellis' practice is focused on civil litigation, including complex construction disputes, and employment law, as well as security clearance review and government contractor suspension and debarment. He is an experienced trial lawyer having tried well over 100 cases, and is co-chair of the firm's litigation group. Immediately prior to joining Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig, Ellis was in private litigation practice in Washington, D.C. He has litigated a variety of complex matters in the state and federal courts of Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia; including commercial disputes, contract disputes, non-compete disputes, employment disputes, trade secrets cases, construction cases, medical malpractice cases and professional architectural and engineering malpractice cases.

From 2001 - 2005 Ellis served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. Ellis was recognized as Honor Graduate of the 155th Officer Basic Course of United States Army Judge Advocate General's School located at the University of Virginia. Subsequently, he served as a military prosecutor at Fort Belvoir (Virginia), and also as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division. After concluding his service as a military prosecutor, Ellis served as a military defense attorney at Fort Benning, Georgia. While a member of the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, Ellis was lead trial counsel in numerous courts-martial tried before military judges and juries at various military installations including Fort Belvoir (Virginia), Fort Benning (Georgia), Fort Rucker (Alabama), Redstone Arsenal (Alabama), and Guantanamo Bay (Cuba). Given his military experience, Ellis also specializes in military defense (courts-martial and administrative separations), security clearance defense, government debarment defense and government contract disputes.

Ellis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from West Virginia University in 1996. He was also initiated into the University's Phi Beta Kappa chapter. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 1999. During law school Ellis was selected to represent Washington and Lee University as a member of its Jessup International Moot Court Team.

Ellis was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia and was raised in Pendleton County, West Virginia. He was president of his high school student body and was captain of his high school basketball and baseball teams. In his free time he enjoys running and playing basketball.


United States Army Judge Advocate General’s School at the University of Virginia
Honor Graduate,

West Virginia University
B.A., Psychology,

Washington & Lee University School of Law
J.D. Law,

Thomas Dunlap

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig PLLC

Tom's practice focuses on patent, trademark, trade secret, commercial, entertainment law, business and government contracts disputes, litigation and transactions. Tom has authored numerous books and appeared on national television and radio including Fox, Sundance TV, and NPR speaking a variety of subjects in his fields of practice. In addition to the state and Federal courts of DC, VA, and MD, he is a member of the Federal Courts in Puerto Rico, Colorado and Texas, as well as the Court of Federal Claims, the Federal Circuit, where he has recently argued and won three appellate matters), the Veteran's Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court, where he was lead counsel on a False Claims Act case (See United States ex rel. Carter v. Halliburton Co.) and in the TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, (U.S. May 22,. 2017) (No. 16-341) case involving jurisdiction in patent infringement cases. Other recent litigation victories where Tom served as lead trial counsel include a $12,317,500 verdict in Zuru v Telebanrds et al (EDTX 2017) (patent infringement), and a $2,600,000 verdict in DPX Gear v Prince et al (Loudoun Circuit Court 2017) (breach of contract & fraud).

In addition to legal work, Tom has been an associate producer and script editor (Assault on Wall Street by Uwe Boll) and directed stage plays and a public television program in New York. Tom has also been on the other side... and has recently appeared in a few national television commercials. Tom has taught numerous courses for both lawyers and laypersons including Online Defamation, Sports & Entertainment Law, and Mastering Sports, Entertainment, & Art Law (Rossdale CLE) and is the author of A Virginia Lawyer's Deskbook, Chapter 8, Intellectual Property (Virginia CLE). Tom has a BA in English & Theater from Lafayette College, a JD from Washington & Lee University and an MBA from the University of Maryland. He has served as a US Army Officer (Armor/ Cavalry) and is a licensed pilot, rescue diver, and avid sailor.

While in the Military, Tom Held the Following Positions: |1 -158th Cavalry (RECON) MDARNG, Platoon Leader, 2000 - 2005 | HQ 29th Infantry Division VAARNG, Aide de Camp to MG A.Wyman, Fort Belvoir, VA, 2006 - 2007 | HHC, 1-116th Infantry BSTB VAARNG, Company Commander, Fredericksburg, VA, 2007 - 2009

In addition to nine years as an Army officer (Cavalry), holding an instrument pilot's license, an MBA and an MS in Biotechnology, Tom has served as a Special Prosecutor and has a background in finance from time spent in commercial banking at JP Morgan Chase and the Bank of New York in the Private Client Group. Tom is presently an Airport commissioner for KJYO (Executive Airport) a Dulles, feeder airport.

Some of Tom's Past Positions Include: | Chemical Bank, NA (JP Morgan Chase) 1994-1995 | Bank of New York, Institutional Custodies, 1995-1996 | Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney, 1997 | Special Prosecutor, Loudoun County | Special Counsel (appointed by the Governor of Virginia) for Wage Claims | CEO, Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. 2007-2010 (part-time)

Tom served as Recon Scout Platoon Leader, and XO in a light cavalry unit, and served as the aide-de-camp to a Commanding General, and finally as a company commander of an infantry company. Tom also enjoys SCUBA diving (rescue & Nitrox certified) and is a former National Silver Medalist in full contact Burmese kickboxing. As a founder and co-patent holder of a biomedical nano-particle technology (US8382987 B2 and US20140045274 A1), Tom served as the interim CEO and now serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. (www.ceresnano.com) which is presently working on numerous government contracts (including multiple Phase 2 awards from DARPA), and the only definitive antigen test for Lyme disease. Tom has two children, and his spouse is a government contracts attorney in Northern Virginia.


Washington & Lee University School of Law
J.D. Law,

Lafayette College
B.A. English/ Theater,

University of Maryland
M.S. Biotechnology,

University of Maryland

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