Client Story Sona Bank



In 2014, EVB (now SonaBank) leaders took a leap of faith. They believed that a growing cadre of women entrepreneurs would appreciate a program tailored specifically to the needs of businesswomen. So, EVB launched P.O.W.E.R.®, a suite of financial service products paired with educational and networking resources. P.O.W.E.R.® was an immediate hit in Central Virginia and EVB quickly saw an increase in assets under management and loans underwritten attributable to P.O.W.E.R.®

The P.O.W.E.R.® program is SonaBank’s intellectual property, protected by trademark and copyright. Through licensing its use, EVB/ SonaBank could grow the P.O.W.E.R.® footprint and generate additional revenue at low risk.

By 2017, EVB/ SonaBank and Fidelity Bank saw the value of extending P.O.W.E.R.® into Fidelity’s market. EVB/ SonaBank turned to Dunlap Law, a P.O.W.E.R.® customer, for a licensing agreement that would protect EVB/ SonaBank, ensure protection for its IP rights, generate revenue, and address practical considerations such as data privacy.

In late 2017, EVB/ SonaBank and Fidelity finalized the P.O.W.E.R.® licensing deal and in December Fidelity launched its P.O.W.E.R.® program in southeast Louisiana.

For more information on licensing, schedule a call.

Peter Blair Client Story

Peter-Blair Accessories Ltd.

Since 1993, Peter-Blair’s clever tie designs and luxury materials have built significant goodwill and brand recognition in Central Virginia.  By 2009, Peter-Blair Accessories Ltd. was poised for significant expansion of its internet sales and wholesale distribution.  Then CEO, Kate Ackerly, opened the mail in late September, 2009 and got some very bad news.  Attorneys for Blair, Inc. ordered her to cease use of the Peter-Blair brand for anything except their one retail store.  Kate consulted an attorney who advised her that Blair Inc. would likely prevail if she pushed back.

Until 2017, when Pike IP Law and Dunlap Law teamed up to help, Peter-Blair Accessories shelved its plans for growth.

First, Bernie Pike and Tricia Dunlap registered Peter-Blair Accessories’ copyright for some of Peter-Blair’s signature designs.  Then, after some research, they concluded there was a narrow but viable path for Peter-Blair Accessories to win federal registration of its “Peter-Blair” trademark.  Though Blair Inc. initially opposed registration of the "Peter-Blair" mark, Bernie and Tricia negotiated a settlement and Blair Inc. dropped its opposition.  The registered trademark will allow Peter-Blair Accessories to finally pursue its long-delayed expansion and having its designs registered for copyright better empowers Peter-Blair Accessories to prevent other sellers from knocking off its creative work. In October, 2018 Richmond's BizSense covered our work for Peter-Blair. You can read more here.

For more information on protecting your IP, schedule a call.

K·Coe Isom LLP

K·Coe Isom, a consultant and CPA firm with $66 million in revenue, specializes in helping food and agriculture businesses thrive despite wildly fluctuating conditions in weather, commodity pricing, land values, and economic pressures.  With a footprint in 8 states, KCoe Isom’s sustainability division helps clients measure, analyze, and communicate sustainability issues.

With the recent emergence of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) framework for corporate reporting of sustainability performance, KCoe Isom saw a need for its clients to understand the implications of the SASB standards.  Knowing Tricia Dunlap’s rare combination of legal counsel and expertise in the SASB standards,  KCoe Isom partnered with Dunlap Law to tap into Tricia’s deep knowledge of the SASB process, standards, and technical application.

Tricia’s guidance been instrumental in helping KCoe Isom serve its clients’ needs to understand the SASB framework – the first sustainability reporting framework aligned with U.S. securities laws on disclosure of material information.

For more information on sustainability issues or disclosures, schedule a call.

Grounded Growth, LLC

Grounded Growth LLC is a start-up membership network of independent, “challenger” food brands and regenerative farmers.  Support from GG professional advisors allows its members, companies, and farmers to achieve continuous improvement and exceptional transparency on their way to greater profitability.  Grounded Growth's visionary founder, Sara Harper, needed guidance on trademark issues as part of the naming process, how best to structure the company, and ensuring GG is protected in its business operations.  Dunlap Law is Grounded Growth's strategic thought partner as Outside General Counsel helping Sara make smart decisions and setting up the legal foundation for Grounded Growth's success.

For more information on integrating your vision with our proactive legal counsel, schedule a time to talk.

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