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Sanders N. Hillis

Phone: +1 317.682.2113
201 North Illinois Street
Suite 1100
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Sanders N. Hillis is the managing partner of Crowell & Moring's Indianapolis office. Sanders 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.

Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Sanders was a shareholder at Brinks Gilson & Lione.

Selected Representative Experience

  • Advising on intellectual property portfolio management for multiple national and international companies.
  • Drafting and prosecuting U.S. and Foreign patent and trademark applications.
  • Representing clients in patent appeals before the USPTO.
  • 13 years of electrical engineering experience at Cinergy Corporation (now Duke Energy, Inc.), at ABB Impell Corporation, and ABB Process Automation. 


  • Ohio University, B.S. Electrical Engineering (1987) cum laude
  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, J.D. (1999) magna cum laude


  • 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


Admitted to practice: Indiana, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Indiana Supreme Court, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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