Vance V. VanDrake, III


Vance is an intellectual property, patent, and venture attorney in the Cincinnati office of Ulmer & Berne. Vance brings a progressive and creative approach to the development of intellectual property and business strategy for emerging businesses and start-up companies. Vance helps his clients, that are predominantly angel and venture-backed companies, develop comprehensive strategies in a broad range of technologies including software, medical devices, and mechanical and electrical innovations. Vance assists his clients with all aspects of patent drafting and prosecution, trademark registration and clearance, and copyright and trade secret protection. His experience includes providing clients with patentability, validity, and infringement opinions, and serving various intellectual property litigation and regulatory (FDA) needs. Vance has worked in-house for a Fortune 500 company, has co-founded three start-up companies, and has helped two of his clients go public. Vance is the President of the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association, was appointed by the Mayor of Cincinnati to the Small Business Advisory Committee, and was recognized as one of Cincinnati’s “Top 40 under 40” by the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Education & Admissions


  • Butler University

    (B.S., 2001)

  • University of Cincinnati College of Law

    (J.D., 2005)
    Law Review, Intellectual Property Law Society President


  • State of Ohio
  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office



  • Vance manages a portfolio of companies ranging from medical technology start-ups to large public companies. He is actively involved in the local entrepreneurship community, works closely with Angel and Venture funding organizations, and has guided several of his clients through IPOs. Vance has co-founded three companies including an ultrasonic medical device company and two consumer products companies. Vance has assisted large companies with IP portfolio management that has resulted in millions of dollars in reduced costs and has developed IP strategies for small to mid-sized companies that have led to successful exits and IPOs.


Publications & Presentations



  • “Software Patents: A Moving Target,” moderator, The Circuit (October 2015)
  • “Software Patents: A Moving Target,” moderator, eKickstart program (November 2014)
  • “Intellectual Property Basics,” First Batch (July 2014)
  • “Intellectual Property Strategies for Small Businesses,” Columbus Chamber Webinar (May 2013)
  • CincyBIO, the Bioscience Event for Innovators and IP Professionals, The Phoenix (April 2013)
  • “The Importance of Intellectual Property and How it Can Make or Break a Company in its Early Stages,” Central Kentucky Investors Council (March 2013)
  • “Intro to Basic Law,” Cintrifuse (January 2013)



  • American Bar Association
  • Cincinnati Bar Association
  • Freemason
  • Mensa
  • Greater Cincinnati Venture Association (GCVA) (President; Board of Trustees)
  • Business Courier “Top 40 Under 40”
  • City of Cincinnati’s Small Business Advisory Council


  • Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD) (Board Member)
  • Hamilton County Business Center Incubator (Morning Mentoring Program)
  • Entrepreneurial Boot Camp
  • VaanGuard Mentor for Small Businesses
  • University of Cincinnati (Guest Speaker on Patent Law and Entrepreneurial Intellectual Property)
  • Miami University (Guest Speaker on Patent Law and Entrepreneurial Intellectual Property)
  • CincyBio Planning Committee (2010-2011)
  • Cincinnati Innovation Awards Planning Committee (2010-2011)




  • Ranked as one of Ohio’s “Leaders in Their Field” in Intellectual Property by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2019)
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America, Patent Law (2016-2019)
  • Named a Cincy Leading Lawyer in Patent in a survey of lawyers by Cincy Magazine (2019)
  • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars list (2014-2018)
  • “Top 40 Under 40,” Cincinnati Business Courier