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Sarah Nagae

Special Counsel

  • (T) 919.653.7824
  • (F) 919.573.7465

Sarah Nagae focuses on trademark and copyright law, helping clients protect their business names, brand names, logos, artistic works and other forms of intellectual property.  Sarah assists clients at all stages of the trademark lifecycle, from helping select and establish marks on the front end to making sure that mature marks are not encroached later down the road.  In 2013, Sarah was among the first to become a Board Certified Specialist in Trademark Law in North Carolina.

Sarah works with startup, mid-market and large companies both locally and internationally. As trademark law applies broadly across many industries, she has worked with clients in many different business sectors.  Her diverse experience includes retail, insurance, hospitality, video games, mobile technology and medical devices, among other industries.  Originally from Washington State, Sarah also maintains a practice in that state to collaborate on matters for clients in the Northwest.


  • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, J.D., 2005
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, M.P.H., Nutrition, 2000; 
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, M.A., Exercise Physiology, 1998
  • Stanford University, B.A., Human Biology, 1996
Bar Admissions
  • North Carolina
  • Washington
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
Civic & Professional Memberships
  • North Carolina Bar Association IP Section, 2012-present, currently Secretary
  • Triangle Intellectual Property Law Association, 2013-present, currently Vice President
  • Volunteer attorney for Legal Aid of NC’s Lawyer on the Line program, 2011-present
  • Intellectual Property Owners’ Association (IPO) U.S. Trademark Law Committee, 2012-2013
  • 2015 Winner, Business North Carolina Magazine’s Legal Elite, Intellectual Property
  • North Carolina Bar Association IP Section Outstanding Achievement Pro Bono Award, 2014-2015

In August 2016, Sarah brought her personal brand to Nexsen Pruet. 

Triangle Trademarks® 

“I would highly recommend Sarah with Triangle Trademarks. When I had an issue with copyright and trademark, I fully expected the process to be tedious and complicated. Sarah explained the process in legal terms I could understand and she handled all the complicated communications and paperwork with professionalism and ease. I always felt she was being honest and straightforward with her recommendations. I would definitely use Triangle Trademarks again. Thank you!”

– Casey Tarpy, Business Owner

“I’m so glad we found Sarah when looking for a trademark attorney. She did an awesome job communicating with us and always answered her phone! This is a rarity these days. We had a difficult infringement issue and she knew exactly how to handle it. She also helped us file for a state trademark to protect our brand. I highly recommend Sarah if you need any trademark work.”

– Mike Hoffer, Business Owner

“Sarah was very responsive and thorough in her work. As an owner of two businesses I didn’t have the time to mess with trademark stuff, but I wanted to be protected. She handled everything from top to bottom. Quick and painless. VERY happy!”

– Bret Oliverio, Business Owner

“I am so impressed with the quality of service that our non-profit organization has received from Sarah Nagae at Triangle Trademarks. Sarah is always very professional and yet very approachable. She has always been very timely with all of our requests and application submissions. It has been a pleasure to work with Sarah over the past four years and I wholeheartedly recommend her and her firm.”

– Erin Kenny, Non-profit Organization Director

“Sarah Nagae was recommended to us by our attorney as we built a Franchise Division of Le Ne Spa. Sarah met with us and explained in detail what we would encounter as we registered and protected both our name and trademark. Her estimates of time required were right on and she handled all the details with the Federal Government. Both trademark and name are now registered and protected. A superb job by Sarah.”

– Charles Lane, Marketing Director

“Sarah Nagae has been an integral part of our business. Once our business began to grow, and our branding campaign begin to pay off, we soon realized that there were things we should have done in the beginning, such as trademarking! Triangle Trademarks was referred to me by another attorney that does not handle trademarks. Sarah met with me, explained the process thoroughly, and best of all, did not talk down to me or act as if it was ridiculous that I didn’t know a thing about the trademark process. Sarah completed the trademarking of our business name and logo quickly, and with ease. I highly recommend Sarah Nagae/Triangle Trademarks for anyone looking for such a service!”

– Shannon Arner, Business Owner

“They’ve been a great help with trademarks, copyright, and risk assessment. I’m especially pleased with their willingness to work with me to keep my costs manageable.”

– Phillip Lombardi, Business Owner


2014 Trademark Year in Review, Manuscript to accompany presentation at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the IP Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Trademarks for the Stars: Tips on Using and Protecting Sports & Entertainment Marks in Social Media, Manuscript to accompany presentation at "Protecting the IP Rights of Sports & Entertainment Clients in the Age of Social Media," a Joint CLE of the Sports & Entertainment Law and IP Law Sections of the North Carolina Bar Association, December 2014.

Best Practices in Trademark Clearance, Manuscript to accompany presentation at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the IP Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, March 2014.

Do We Need an Exception to the Exception to the Disclaimer Requirement? A Proposal to Retain the Unitary Mark Exception but Eliminate the "Single Word" Rule, Published on IP Law 360, October 2011. 

When not in the office, Sarah can be found running, biking, swimming or playing at a Raleigh park with her family and dog. Physical activity has been a big part of her life. Sarah competed in gymnastics as a child and was on the diving team in high school. In college, she raced with the Stanford cycling team and then went on to do triathlons and marathons, including an Ironman and the Boston Marathon. She has also practiced yoga for the past 20 years. Sarah enjoys sharing stories and tips with other athletes and also loves talking with people who are hoping to exercise more regularly.

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Trademark law is often complex and nuanced, governing the use and ownership of the many, many brands we see in the marketplace. I help clients navigate the trademark system, working with them to understand what words and images are important to protect and how best to do so.