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Thomas M Dunlap

Thomas M Dunlap

Practice areas:

Intellectual Property, Government Contracts, Aviation, Litigation, Entertainment

About Me

My practice focuses on complex entertainment law matters, civil litigation, mediation and arbitration in the areas of patent, copyright, trademark & commercial law. I have represented local, national and international clients in a variety of complex litigation, including copyright disputes in the United Kingdom and multi-jurisdictional federal patent infringement and invalidity claims.

Tom has also appeared before the Supreme Court of Virginia where he successfully argued the application of the intra-corporate immunity doctrine as it relates to conspiracy claims. In addition to numerous seminars, including as faculty for Virginia CLE on electronic evidence in civil litigation, serving as President of the Loudoun Bar Association and writing technical treatises,Tom was selected as one of twelve Top Northern Virginia Lawyers for his litigation experience in the 2006 June/ July edition of Northern Virginia Magazine, and in 2008 and 2009 as a Virginia Super Lawyer in the area of Commercial Litigation (top 2.5% by peer selection). Tom was named as one of the most Powerful Lawyers in Entertainment by the Hollywood Reporter in 2010 and is lead counsel in the #2 Entertainment ase of 2010 (Hurt Locker v. Doe).

Tom has served as a Special Prosecutor and has a background in banking and finance from time spent in commercial banking at JP Morgan Chase and the Bank of New York.

Tom grew up in Middleburg and Great Falls, Virginia, attending high school at the International School of Geneva in Switzerland, where he learned to speak French fluently. He graduated from Lafayette College where he was a member of the varsity fencing team and rugby team. Following college Tom spent time in New York, New York working in both retail and commercial banking for Chase Manhattan, (now JP Morgan Chase) and the Bank of New York.

He attended law school at Washington & Lee University where he was a member of Phi Delta Phi Legal Honors Fraternity (Vice Magistrar), and where he continued to play rugby. Tom worked for a Northern Virginia firm, where he eventually became a partner. In 2001 Dan Grubb and Tom formed Dunlap & Grubb. Tom is presently enrolled at the University of Maryland where he will receive a dual degree MS Biotechnology/ MBA.

Until May of 2009, Tom was a Captain in the Virginia Army National Guard, and a graduate of Army OCS. He has served as Recon Scout Platoon Leader, and XO for A Troop, 1-158th CAV(RECON), and served as the aide de camp to the Commanding General, 29th Infantry Division and as the Commander of HHC, 116th BSTB Infantry, with whom he spent some time in Kosovo.

Tom is an avid sailor and owns a Cirrus SR-22 high performance airplane, for which he holds a private instrument pilot rating with the complex & high performance endorsements. He serves a an commissioner for the Leesburg Airport (KJYO). Tom also enjoys diving (rescue diver & Nitrox certified), and holds a US Army Humvee and M1 Tank drivers licenses, and is a former National Silver Medallist in full contact Burmese kickboxing, called Bando (2002). As an original founder and co-patent holder on certain nano-particle technology, Tom serves as the part-time interim CEO of Ceres Nanosciences, LLLP, a biotechnology company based in Manassas, Virginia.


Languages Spoken: French

Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 1999

  1. Intellectual Property: 30%
    16 years, 200 cases
  2. Government Contracts: 25%
    16 years, 50 cases
  3. Aviation: 20%
    16 years, 200 cases
  4. Litigation: 15%
    16 years, 200 cases
  5. Entertainment: 10%
    16 years, 5 thousand cases



Hourly ($350-495/hour), Contingent (25-45%), Fixed (Sometimes)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

10 total 

  • James W Pravel

    Tom is a sharp, assertive litigator who can be depended upon to pursue the client's goals diligently, accurately and efficiently. He has the ability to get right to the relevant issues on a wide range of subject areas. It is always a pleasure to work with Tom on patent cases and I would highly recommend him to represent you or your company on any complex and/or challenging civil litigation matters


    James Pravel Patent Application Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Chananel H Nakasaka

    Mr. Dunlap is an outstanding attorney whom I had the privilege of working with years ago. He is extremely knowledgeable and experienced particularly in intellectual property law. I completely agree that he is truly a rare find.


    Chananel Nakasaka Employment & Labor Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig

5335 Wisconsin Ave, NE Ste 440
Washington, DC, 20015

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig

211 Church Street SE
Leesburg, VA, 20175-2715

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig

780 5th Avenue
Suite 200
Naples, FL, 34102




DCActive 200105/24/2015
VAAuthorized to practice law199903/11/2014

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Avvo Contributions

Legal Answers


Award NameGrantorDate Granted
MemberWho's Who In American Law2011
SuperLawyerLaw & Politics Magazine2011
Top 100 Power Lawyers in EntertainmentHollywood Reporter2010
SuperLawyersLaw & Politics Magazine2009
SuperLawyersLaw & Politics Magazine2008

Work Experience

TitleCompany NameDuration
CEOCeres Nanosciences, Inc.2007 - 2011
Special ProsecutorLoudoun County2005 - 2005
Managing PartnerDunlap, Grubb & Weaver, PLLC2002 - Present


Association NamePosition NameDuration
Leesburg Executive AirportCommissioner2008 - Present
Maryland State Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section, Membership CommitteeBoard Member2007 - Present
Loudoun Community Free ClinicVice Chair/ Board Member2005 - Present
Loudon County Bar AssociationPresident2004 - 2005
Airline Owners & Pilots AssociationPanel Attorney2004 - Present
Loudoun County Bar Association, BoardBoard Member2003 - 2006
American MENSAN/A1998 - Present

Legal Cases

Case NameOutcome
Buffalo Wings, Factory, Inc. v. Charbroil Grill of Wordlgate, Inc.Obtained judgment & $81,000 in sanctions and fees
Swimways Corp. v. Zuru, Inc., No. 2:13CV334, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98092 (E.D. Va. July 18, 2014)Judge Davis of the Norfolk Division of the EDVA found, as a matter of law, that a patent was either anticipated or rendered obvious by the prior art. Summary judgement for the Defendant (our client) Zuru, LLC invalidating the patent.
United States ex rel Carter v. Halliburton CoThe Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of a qui tam action that the district court held was barred by the statute of limitations and the first-to-file bar under the False Claims Act (“FCA”).

See all Legal Cases 


Publication NameTitleDate
Electronic Signature In Law: Second EditionChapter 8: E-Sign & UETA - Electronic Signatures in the United States2007


School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of MarylandN/AMBA2012
University of MarylandBiotechnologyMaster of Science2010
Washington and Lee University School of LawLawJuris Doctor1999
Lafayette CollegeEnglishBA - Bachelor of Arts1994

Speaking Engagements

Conference NameTitleDate
Sports & Entertainment Law SymposiumCopyright Litigation in Film & Television Piracy2011
How-To: Intellectual PropertyHow-To: Intellectual Property2011
Washington & LeeIntellectual Property Basics2010
Loudoun SBDC Business ConferenceIntellectual Property for Small Business2010
VA CLE - Speaking ObjectionsSpeaking Objections2009
International Conference on Electronic EvidenceElectronic Evidence in US Federal Courts2008
National Notary Conference Los AngelesElectronic Signatures and Federal Law Esign and UETA2007