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Raise Your Expectations for Superior Results

Who is your most trusted IP counsel? 

Those needing the best IP counsel rely on Dorton & Willis LLP.


Thoughtful and forthcoming advice.

Relentless advocates focused on details.

Trusted advisors and valued friends.

Dorton & Willis LLP

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Our Specialties

How Can We Help You?



Building and maintaining quality patent portfolios are critical for design and technology-centric businesses.  Quality patents can provide a sword against infringers, as well as a shield to protect your investment. The generation of a high quality patent portfolio is key to successful innovation.  

Our attorneys have engineering degrees, technical expertise, and extensive legal experience ensuring the highest quality patents.  One of our partners is a former patent examiner with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Our services include evaluating patentable subject matter, drafting and prosecuting utility and design patent applications, and enforcement of patent rights. In circumstances where third parties have patents of interest to our clients, we counsel clients concerning possible redesign of products/processes, legal opinions setting forth non-infringement and invalidity positions, and conduct post grant proceedings to negate or mitigate patent infringement liability. 

Our reach also extends outside of the U.S. when needs arise.  Our reputation fosters strong relationships with numerous law firms around the world serving as local counsel for our clients.


Immediate identification of goods or services with your business promotes consumer confidence and loyalty.    Trademarks accomplish both.  Trademarks are "ambassadors" to consumers distinguishing your goods or services from all others.  Correctly implemented, trademarks can last forever.  

Building a brand requires careful trademark selection and protection.  Clients seek our counsel to avoid selecting inherently problematic trademarks.  Problematic trademarks include those that are generic and those that have been used or registered by others for the same or similar  goods or services.  We can help you select strong marks that avoid such issues and build your brands.

Protecting trademarks involves use and, commonly, registration of those marks, in addition to filing and prosecuting Trademark applications in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  We counsel clients to ensure appropriate trademark use and police for infringement.  We advise clients on registration options and ensure that registrations remain intact and encompass the relevant goods or services.




Copyrights are often overlooked.  Yet on a daily basis, more individuals come in contact with copyrights than any other form of intellectual property. 

An original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression may create a copyright.  Questions often arise about distinguishing permissible and impermissible copying.  Can a copyright be registered?  For how long?  Who owns the copyright?  Answering these questions and avoiding unnecessary business costs and delays is our role.  


Educating and strategic planning with our clients ensures preparedness.  Website content is a particular area of concern.  Businesses outsourcing product production and product design almost always have copyright issues.


Our services include implementing reasonable measures to manage copyrights, contract provisions to address copyright ownership, enforcement of copyrights, defense against copyright claims, and registration of copyrights.



Legal agreements often safeguard intellectual property. 

Confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements ensure subject matter can be disclosed between parties without sacrificing its proprietary nature.  Technology development agreements facilitate intellectual property generation and identify each party's rights in the intellectual property.


Legal agreements also facilitate monetization of intellectual property.  License agreements allow parties to use another's intellectual property for economic gain and reward the intellectual property owner.  Asset purchase agreements document the sale of intellectual party from one party to another.


Legal agreements can resolve intellectual property disputes.  Settlement agreements allow parties to move beyond disputes and focus on future success.

We negotiate and draft these and other intellectual property agreements for our clients.


Our People

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David W. Dorton

Managing Partner


David's areas of expertise include patent prosecution, client counseling, and licensing, with concentration in mechanical technologies. David has represented clients in the fields of packaging, manufacturing, dispensing, containers and closures, HVAC systems, sensing and testing equipment and devices, medical, dental, and veterinary devices and equipment, automotive, robotics, toys and games, juvenile and infant products, clothing, musical instruments, furniture, food preparation and processing equipment, aerospace products, and construction equipment and tools, to name a few.


Prior to founding Dorton & Willis, David practiced for 18 years with a large intellectual property boutique firm in Cincinnati, Ohio, and had 7 years of experience as a product engineer in the field of noise and vibration control, particularly in the design of elastomeric vibration isolators. He is an adjunct professor at Salmon P. Chase Law School and resides in Mason, Ohio with his wife Kim and their children.


University of Dayton School of Law, Dayton, Ohio

       -Juris Doctor


Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University,

    Blacksburg, Virginia

      -B.S. Mechanical Engineering

      -M.S. Mechanical Engineering


Bar Admissions

Ohio, 2001

U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Ryan L. Willis


Ryan started his legal career at an AmLaw 200 firm and was a partner there prior to founding Dorton & Willis LLP.  Ryan's areas of expertise include patent procurement, enforcement, defense, licensing, acquisition and divestment, as well as similar areas involving trademark practice.


Ryan's patent expertise includes surgical equipment, semiconductors, surgical navigation systems, medical imaging equipment, thermoelectrics, loading dock equipment, and surgical implants such as prosthetics and biologics.  In the surgical equipment field, Ryan has represented Fortune 500 companies including ZimmerBiomet (including both Zimmer and Biomet individually prior to Zimmer’s acquisition of Biomet), C.R. Bard (now part of Becton Dickinson), and AtriCure. 

Ryan lives in Morrow, Ohio with his wife Jessie and their two children.



University of Dayton School of Law, Dayton, Ohio

 -Juris Doctor

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana

-B.S. Chemical Engineering

Bar Admissions

Ohio, 2001

U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

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Contact Dorton & Willis LLP

9545 Kenwood Road, Suite 202
Cincinnati, OH 45242


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