Tony Bonner is a native of Lexington, KY where he attended Henry Clay High School, and was a two-sport athlete playing soccer and running track. After graduation, he attended Transylvania University, where he continued to excel at soccer while participating in the 3-2 engineering program. Through this partnership, Tony earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, while also leaving Transylvania with a BA in Liberal Arts. During his time in UK’s College of Engineering, he had the opportunity to participate in a Co-Op program, splitting semesters as an intern with TI Group Automotive tool shop. After successfully completing all of the above, he enrolled in the University of Kentucky, College of Law, graduating in 2004.
For two summers, Tony was an associate with Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, LLP (now Thomas | Horstemeyer) in Atlanta, Georgia where he gained full time employment after graduation. As an associate, he drafted and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications primarily in the electrical and computer fields. He also drafted and prosecuted dozens of trademark applications, as well as participated in both trademark and patent litigation, negotiated and drafted license agreements, and rendered opinions for patentability, non-infringement and invalidity. In the summer of 2010, he decided to move back to Kentucky and joined Dinsmore & Shohl LLP as an associate. In 2014, he was elected a partner of the Firm and currently works in the Lexington office.
KYIPA is excited to name Tony as its inaugural Board of Advisors IP Ecosystem Collaboration Pillar Lead. In this position, Tony will lead strategic advisement of KYIPA's collaborative efforts, supporting KYIPA activities for the next year and longer term strategic planning. Learn more about Tony in our Q&A with him below!
How long have you been working in the field of intellectual property?
Since the summer of 2002.
What originally piqued your interest in intellectual property?
As an engineering and math student, I wanted to find a graduate level educational experience and eventual profession that allowed me to apply my engineering and math skills. My soccer coach at Transylvania was an attorney and was influential in turning me on to the idea of becoming an IP attorney. The more I investigated, the more enamored I became.
What types of intellectual property have you worked on?
I have broad IP experience. Specifically, I have experience with patent prosecution, trademark prosecution, copyright registration, patent opinions, open source issues, IP licensing and related litigation.
From a technical standpoint, I have experience in intellectual property prosecution, litigation and licensing in the electrical, computer and mechanical engineering fields. In the electrical and computer fields, my experience includes DSL technologies, microelectronics, GPS technologies, integrated circuits, networking, communications, semiconductor, computer architecture, Internet technologies, personal communication services, software and digital logic. In the mechanical engineering field, I have experience in manufacturing and medical devices. I also provide guidance on open source issues including performing open source audits, analyzing open source compliance and counseling clients wishing to submit software to the open source community.
What's the most exciting part of working with intellectual property?
From my perspective, there are several exciting parts of working in IP. One is that it is a very positive experience, compared with most attorneys’ work. My colleagues in other fields comment on how positive the energy is in the field of IP, which makes it enjoyable to come to the office every day. From a substantive side, I often help clients strategize IP portfolio development, which allows me to have an intimate knowledge of the business of the company. On top of all that, I am fortunate to have great clients and a great team, who are all genuinely nice people.