Sanders N. Hillis

“I treat my clients’ intellectual property like it’s my own.”

Sanders Hillis is a licensed patent attorney who brings more than a decade of experience as a registered professional engineer to his wide-ranging practice securing, protecting, and managing intellectual property rights related to the electrical, digital, and electromechanical arts. He assists clients with the prosecution, licensing, and litigation of patents, trademarks and copyrights in the United States and abroad.

Sanders lends his informed business perspective and experience to providing strategic advice to clients regarding the management of their intellectual property portfolios, which are frequently international in nature. In addition to all aspects of U.S. patent and trademark law, he has considerable experience with the Patent Cooperation Treaty, foreign country prosecution of patent applications and trademarks, and appeals to the U.S. Board of Patent Appeals. He also regularly prepares opinions relating to infringement and validity of patents and trademarks.  Across all of his patent, trademark, and copyright related matters, Sanders focuses on providing efficient representation that balances his clients’ tolerance for risk and need for legal certainty surrounding their business and their intellectual property.  He continuously thinks forward about how his clients’ strategic use of their resources can help them to not only preserve market share, but gain it. 

An electrical engineer who worked on and managed industrial facility, power plant and transmission system upgrades/retrofits and other control system related engineering projects prior to and while obtaining his law degree, Sanders brings both industry and legal experience to technologies as diverse as  computer software, digital networks, Internet and e-commerce related technology, audio signal processing, wireless and wireline telephony, digital communication technologies, power system monitoring and management, power metering, electrical generators, electrical transmission and distribution, power amplifiers, automotive systems, radio frequency applications, and audio equipment/devices.  

  • J.D., magna cum laude,
    Indiana University Maurer School of Law, 1999
  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, cum laude,
    Ohio University, 1987
Bar Admissions
  • Indiana
  • Indiana Supreme Court
  • U.S. Dist. Court, N.D. Indiana
  • U.S. Dist. Court, S.D. Indiana
  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
Technical Background
  • Analog Electronics
  • Business Methods
  • Digital Electronics
  • Semiconductors
  • Signal Processing
  • Software
Experience | Overview
  • Has advised on intellectual property portfolio management for multiple national and international companies.
  • Drafted and prosecuted many successful U.S. and Foreign patent and trademark applications.
  • Represented clients in multiple patent appeals before the USPTO.
  • Spent 13 years gaining industry and business experience as a senior electrical engineer at Cinergy Corporation (now Duke Energy, Inc.) and as a design and construction engineer at ABB Impell Corporation and ABB Process Automation. 
Experience | Non-Legal Experience

Senior Electrical Engineer, Duke Energy, Inc. (Formerly Cinergy Corporation), Plainfield, Indiana.
Power plant upgrade/maintenance related to motors, motor controls, generators, generator relaying and related instruments/equipment, boiler control systems instrumentation and equipment. Transmission and Distribution design and maintenance, and related system and policies.

Consulting Engineer, ABB Impell Corporation, Chicago, Illinois.
Design and build engineering in many different industries involved in new construction and refurbishment/upgrades of power and control systems.

Installation Engineer, ABB Process Automation, Columbus, Ohio.
Installation and maintenance of computer based measurement and control systems in flat sheet applications, such as paper mills.

  • Webinar – Patent Claim Drafting Skills for Specialists and Non-Specialists – Plager Inn of Court - January 20, 2021

  • Webinar - Licensing Strategies and Trends – September 24, 2020

  • How-To: Due Diligence & IP Evaluation – Plager Inn of Court - November 20, 2019

  • Hot Topics and Recent Trends in Trademark and Copyright – ACC Indiana Chapter, August 22, 2019

  • “Computer Software & Business Method Patents: Current Trends & Strategies” Midwest Intellectual Property Symposium, Indianapolis, Indiana November 16, 2018
  • "Intellectual Property Protection in China: The Indiana Experience - Strategies for Procurement and Enforcement" Indiana University McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana October 18, 2017
  • "Hot Topics, Cases and Controversies in 2017 in Intellectual Property Law”  ACC-Indiana Chapter, Indianapolis, Indiana September 7, 2017
  • "Evolving I/P Legal Landscape Since the AIA (America Invents Act) of 2011” ACC-Indiana Chapter, Indianapolis, Indiana April 18, 2017
  • "Intellectual Property  - Keeping Your Ideas Protected” Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA), Louisville Kentucky July 13, 2016
  • “Global Intellectual Property and Life Sciences”  Kelley School of Business, Bloomington, Indiana April 5, 2016
  • “A Legal Career In Intellectual Property”  Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, Indiana March 11, 2016
  • “International Intellectual Property Practice: From Treaties to Reality”  Indiana University McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana February 18, 2016
  • “The CEO Just Called With An Intellectual Property Issue – Now What?” ACC-Indiana Chapter, Indianapolis, Indiana August 27, 2015
  • “Intellectual Property Survey” Central Indiana Chapter of the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers, Indianapolis, Indiana 
Representative Matters
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2015-0200827-A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2015-0319086-A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2015-0288416-A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2013-0236023 A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2013-0211481 A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2015-0200827-A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2015-0319086-A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2015-0094111-A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2015-0288416-A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2013-0236023 A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2013-0211481 A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2012-0329533-A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2012-0303820 A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-20050154583 A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2005-0102180 A1
Press Releases & Events
May 06, 2016
INDIANAPOLIS—Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms and the largest dedicated IP firm in Indiana, is establishing the Intellectual Property Law Scholars Program in partnership with the ...
  • Indiana Bar Association
  • Indianapolis Bar Association
  • Registered Professional Engineer in Indiana 
  • President –Central Indiana Chapter of the Indiana Society of
    Professional Engineers
  • President Timber Bend Homeowners Association