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


  • Indiana
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
  • Indiana Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana

Professional Experience

  • Duke Energy, Inc. (Formerly Cinergy Corporation)
    Senior Electrical Engineer (1992–1999)
  • ABB Impell Corporation
    Consulting Engineer (1987–1992)
  • ABB Process Automation
    Installation Engineer (1985–1987)

Sanders N. Hillis


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.


Professional Activities and Memberships

  • 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

Representative Matters

Select 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. 

Patent Publications

  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2020/019646 A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2020/0126689 A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2020/0291160 A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2020/0371040


  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2019-0005111-A1
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. US-2012-0329533-A1

Client Alerts & Newsletters

Firm News & Announcements

August 18, 2022 The Best Lawyers in America 2023 Recognizes 54 Crowell & Moring Attorneys, Three Selected as Lawyer of the Year
August 19, 2021 The Best Lawyers in America 2022 Recognizes 53 Crowell & Moring Attorneys, One Selected as Lawyer of the Year