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E. Eric Mills


  • (T) 919.573.7439
  • (F) 919.573.7460

I am a registered patent attorney and licensed professional engineer who has the broad-based understanding and hands-on experience clients need to manage virtually every aspect of intellectual property matters, from patents and trademarks to copyrights and trade secrets.

Clients that I work closely with include a number of companies in the start-up and manufacturing sectors. This includes businesses with interests in medical and diagnostic devices; geotechnical and geogrid products; microfluidic devices; textiles; home and personal appliances; and general mechanical, electromechanical, and biomechanical technologies. I also partner with various universities in order to protect intellectual property developed at the educational institution level.

At Nexsen Pruet, I serve as Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property practice group. In addition to this role, I devote a significant portion of my practice to preparing and prosecuting patent and trademark applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in foreign jurisdictions. I am well versed in the Patent Cooperation Treaty and Madrid protocols, and concentrate my practice in the area of international intellectual property law.


  • University of North Carolina, J.D., 2001
  • North Carolina State University, M.C.E., 1998
  • North Carolina State University, B.S., 1993
Bar Admissions
  • North Carolina
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • United States District Court, Eastern District, North Carolina
  • United States Supreme Court
Civic & Professional Memberships
  • Member, American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section
  • Member, American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Member, Association of University Technology Managers
  • Member, Carolina Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law Association
  • Board Member, Secretary, Marine Bio-Technologies Center of Innovation
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section (chair, 2012-2013; vice chair, 2011-2012; treasurer, 2010-2011; secretary, 2009-2010; council member, 2003-2009; co-editor, IP Links, 2006-2008)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for "Lawyer of the Year" for Copyright Law in Raleigh, N.C. in 2020
  • Listed as a 2016  North Carolina Lawyers Weekly “Leader in the Law.”
  • Listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers® - Intellectual Property, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Copyright Law in 2012 – 2015, 2019, 2020
  • Listed in Legal Elite, Business North Carolina - Intellectual Property, 2004, 2006, 2008-2012, 2019
    • Legal Elite Hall of Fame – Intellectual Property, since 2013
  • IP Star, Managing Intellectual Property, 2013 – 2014, 2018
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
  • Certified Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management Yellow Belt
Eric Mills main bio photo

“A sound intellectual property strategy requires a firm understanding of your client's underlying business needs and goals.  Know the latter before you develop the former.”