Jerry J. Dunlap
Jerry J. Dunlap was born on February 12, 1925, in Chelsea, Oklahoma. After graduating from Tulsa Central High School in 1943, Jerry joined the United States Navy’s V-12 program, attending the University of Oklahoma to major in mechanical engineering. While study at the University of Oklahoma, Jerry was commissioned by the Navy in January 1946, and spent six months on active duty before being discharged. Thereafter, Jerry returned to the University of Oklahoma to complete his degree in mechanical engineering in 1948. He was then employed by the Ethel Corporation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as a mechanical engineer. After one year, Jerry returned to Tulsa to work for Jones and Laughlin Supply Company as an engineer.
Jerry began law school at the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1949, attending night classes in the basement of Central High School while working for Charles McKnight, a Tulsa patent attorney. Initially, McKnight hired Jerry as a draftsman, but, in Jerry’s words, “I never did do any drafting.” Instead, he learned to draft patent applications and passed the Patent Bar Examination in approximately 1950. While at the University of Tulsa, Jerry was a member of Delta Theta Phi legal fraternity. He continued working for Charles McKnight until he was recalled to the Navy during the Korean Conflict just prior to his graduation from law school in 1952. Jerry was ranked 2nd in his law school class. He was excused from the Oklahoma Bar Examination and admitted to the Oklahoma Bar Association, taking the Oath of Attorney in Tokyo Bay.
After returning from his commission, Jerry returned to Norman, Oklahoma, where he worked as a Judge Advocate General for the Navy. He later returned to Tulsa for a brief stint and then moved to Oklahoma City where he worked as a sole practitioner in patent law for one year. He was then hired by Continental Oil Company, later known as Conoco, and worked as a patent attorney for that company in Ponca City, Oklahoma, from 1955 to 1957. In 1955, Jerry became a Registered Professional Engineer and also maintained a private law practice while working for Continental Oil. It was during this time that he became very active in the Oklahoma Bar Association and worked actively on the “Missouri Plan,” (originally the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan, also known as the merit plan, or some variation), a method for the selection of judges.
In 1957, Jerry returned to private practice in Oklahoma City, and began the firm now known as Dunlap Codding. During the early years of the firm, Jerry hired Bill Laney, Mickey Hubbard, Bob Hessin, Charles (Skip) Codding, Clark Dougherty, and Bill McCarthy. In 1960, Jerry began focusing his practice on patent litigation, and he was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court in 1969. From 1962 to 1967, he served as an Adjunct Professor in Patent, Trademark and Copyrights Law at Oklahoma City University School of Law. One of his students was Skip Codding. After reading Skip’s final examination, Jerry immediately offered Skip a job.
In 1964, Jerry led a group of Oklahoma patent attorneys in convincing the Oklahoma Bar Association to create a section for intellectual property lawyers. The Bar began by allowing the formation of a committee, officially recognized as Committee No. 34. That Committee met for 7 years at each OBA annual meeting. Jerry was the Committee’s first chairman, serving from 1965 to 1970. In 1971, Bill Dorman assumed the role of Chairman and Jerry continued as Vice-Chair. In October of 1972, the Committee was converted to the Patent, Trademark and Copyright Section of the Oklahoma Bar Association. Jerry served as President of the Section from 1974 to 1975. Today, the Section is known as the Intellectual Property Law Section. Jerry was inducted into the Section’s Hall of Fame in 2000.
In 1974, Jerry and Skip Codding incorporated as Dunlap and Codding, the predecessor of Dunlap Codding, P.C. Jerry became Of Counsel in 1994, and served for many years as an expert and mediator in patent cases. He passed away on March 23, 2007, at the age of 82.
Throughout his life, Jerry was known as an avid hunter of upland game birds, a treasured husband, father, grand and great-grandfather, mentor and gracious trial lawyer. His goodwill and good nature are sorely missed.
Charles A. “Skip” Codding
Charles A. “Skip” Codding has been engaged in the law practices of patents, trademarks, unfair competition, trade secrets, antitrust and copyrights for the past 40 years. He has experience in protecting intellectual property worldwide and developing strategic portfolio for clients which includes procedures and costs, employment agreements securing intellectual property rights, trade secret protection procedures and intellectual property transfers—licenses and assignments.
Skip and Jerry Dunlap formed Dunlap and Codding in 1974, building on the firm Jerry Dunlap established in 1957. Among the highlights of their efforts as a firm was their support and funding of the Office of Technology Development at the University of Oklahoma.
In 1980, the U.S. Congress passed the Bayh-Dole Act which allowed universities to own inventions created using federal research funding. Prior to this Act, any invention developed with federal funds went into the public domain. As a result of the ownership rights created by the Act, the University of Oklahoma decided it would be in their best interest to patent their discoveries and implement a commercialization program to (1) move the University’s technology “from the scientist’s bench to the patient’s bedside”; and (2) create an income stream to support the University’s mission.
Soon thereafter, Skip Codding met with individuals at the University and developed a plan to launch an “Office of Technology Development.” Additionally, Skip undertook the effort to secure funding for the creation and endowment of the Office. Although the pledged funding fell through at the last minute (i.e., the corporate sponsor withdrew its support), Skip “stepped up to the plate” (at a time when the Dunlap Codding firm consisted of fewer than 10 people) and committed the firm to funding the hard expenses of the University’s commercialization efforts as well as providing legal counsel pro bono. During the 1990s, the University formally retained the firm. Dunlap Codding’s level of commitment to the University of Oklahoma was, and remains, unparalleled in the legal community.
Skip is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, American Association of Trial Lawyers, Licensing Executive Society and American Intellectual Property Law Association.
Skip taught Intellectual Property Law (patent, trademark and copyright law) at Oklahoma City University School of Law, for several years as an adjunct professor.
In 2003, Skip was inducted into Oklahoma Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law Section Hall of Fame. As of 2011, Skip is Of Counsel to the firm he helped to found, and enjoying his semi-retirement.