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Rick Sanders


rick sandersI am an intellectual-property litigator. If you’re in a dispute, or afraid you’re getting into a dispute, about copyright, trademark, domain names, or technology, I’m the one to call.

You probably already know that intellectual property law is complex and a bit rarified. It’s always in flux, and one of my jobs is to keep up with it as it changes. My goal is to have answers to most of your questions without “having do to research.” The same thing goes with technology, though in that case, I just have to be a quick study about the technology at issue. When you add litigation to the mix, matters can get very complicated indeed! That’s because lawsuits (and lawsuit-like proceedings, like arbitrations) follow their own rules and proceed at their own pace, and this might not work well with your needs and goals. My job is to explain to you what’s happening a calm, easily-understood way. We’ll work together on a strategy that takes into account your budgetary and business realities, and I’ll explain our options in ways you’ll understand so you can make informed decisions.

I started my career at a large Silicon Valley firm before moving to Nashville, where I practiced at one of the leading big law firms. I also taught Copyright Law at Vanderbilt University Law School for three years. I started Aaron | Sanders with Tara Aaron in 2011. We saw a need for small businesses to get the same legal counseling and assistance about intellectual property and technology issues usually reserved for big companies.

I tweet regularly about developments in trademark, copyright, internet and technology law (and some other stuff): @RickSandersLaw.


  • Vanderbilt University School of Law, Nashville, Tenn.
    • Juris Doctor, 2000
    • Recipient: “Vanderbilt Scholastic Excellence Award” (for highest grade in course) for Copyright and Federal Taxation
    • Professional Authorities Editor: Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law
    • Member: Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law Society
    • Internship: for the Honorable Walter C. Kurtz, Fifth Circuit Court for Davidson County
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
    • Master of Arts (English), 1992
  • University of California, Berkeley, Calif.
    • Bachelor of Arts (English), 1990
    • Graduated summa cum laude, honors thesis
    • Overseas Study: Junior year at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland


  • Aaron & Sanders, PLLC, Nashville, Tenn.
    • Founding and Managing Partner, 2011–present
  • Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, Nashville, Tenn.
    • Partner in Litigation and Intellectual-Property Practice Groups, 2009–2011
    • Associate in Litigation and Intellectual-Property Practice Groups, 2004–2008
  • Fenwick & West, LLP, Silicon Valley, Calif.
    • Associate in Intellectual-Property Litigation 2000–2003



  • Co-Producer, The Copyright Office Comes to Music City (annual law conference in Nashville, featuring members of the U.S. Copyright Office and a panel on matters of local copyright interest, April 2007–2010 & 2012.



  • Panelist, First Sale, The Right of Reproduction, and Redigi: Where Are We Now? And Where Do We Go From Here?, The Copyright Society of the USA, Annual Meeting, June 11, 2019.
  • Panelist, Copyright Law, John Marshall Law School 62nd Annual Intellectual Property Conference, Nov. 2, 2018 (Center for Intellectual Property, Information and Privacy Law).
  • Presenter, Transformative Fair Use, TBA Intellectual Property Spring Institute, April 17, 2015 (Tenn. Bar Ass’n).
  • Panelist, Is that Domain .Yours or .Mine? Practical Considerations for In-house Counsel, ABA webinar, Jan. 31, 2014 (Am. Bar Ass’n).
  • Co-Presenter, Current Litigation of a Case of Internet Copyright Infringement, Annual Entertainment Law in ReviewAnnual Entertainment Law in Review, Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 4, 2013 (Nashville Bar Ass’n).
  • Presenter, [Internet 101] (, Cyber Monday: Old Law, New Technology, Nashville, TN, Dec. 2, 2013 (Tenn. Bar Ass’n).
  • Moderator, Is that Domain .Yours or .Mine? Coping with the New Top Level Domain Names28th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference, Arlington, Va., Apr. 4, 2013 (Am. Bar Ass’n).
  • Presenter, Cloud Computing and Privacy IssuesScary Things in Intellectual Property, Tennessee Bar Center, Nashville, Tenn., Apr. 13, 2012 (TennBarU).
  • Presenter, Introduction to the Internet and Constitutional Issues, Internet and the Law, Nashville School of Law, Nashville, TN, Dec. 30, 2011 (Barristers).
  • Lecturer, Will Consumers Ever Get What They Want from Online Music Services? How Copyright Law Enables and Impedes Five Types of Online Music Services, University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, Colo., Oct. 26, 2011 (JDCLE).
  • Co-Presenter, Legal Strategies for Dealing with Anonymous Internet Infringers, 2010 ABA Annual Conference (Seminar), San Francisco, Calif. (Am. Bar Ass’n).
  • Co-Presenter, Legal Strategies for Dealing with Anonymous Internet Infringers, 2009 ABA Annual Conference (Mock Hearing), 2009 ABA Annual Conference, Chicago, IL (Am. Bar Ass’n).


  • Co-Presenter, Legal Basics for the Arts: Copyrights and Contracts, Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville, Feb. 13, 2012.
  • Created, scripted and played “the Nerdy Expert,” in Who Really Wrote Shakespeare? (a mock trial in which the Earl of Oxford sued William Shakespeare), Nashville Shakespeare Festival, summer 2011.
  • Co-presenter, Much Ado About Ethics, with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and the Arts and Business Council, Winter 2009 & 2010.
  • Member, Online Media Network (Berkman Society for Law and the Internet at Harvard University)
  • Judge, National First Amentment Moot Court (2009–present).
  • Judge and Scorer, Davidson County Mock Trial Competition (2007-present).



  • Chair, Trademarks and the Internet, Intellection Property Section, American Bar Association, 2014–15.
  • Vice-Chair, Trademarks and the Internet, Intellectual Property Section, ABA, 2012–14.
  • Chair, Intellectual Property Section, Nashville Bar Association, 2008.
  • Treasurer, Federal Bar Association–Nashville Chapter, 2007–2011.


  • State of Tennessee
  • State of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of Tennessee
  • United States District Court for the Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern Districts of California


  1. The First Amendment Right to Anonymous Online Speech | Aaron Sanders Law - [...] **  And you absolutely know if you’ve read my bio… [...]
  2. Rick Sanders’ Online Music Blog Series Recognized by The Next Web. | Aaron Sanders Law - [...] many of you know, Rick Sanders has been posting a series of blog entries on online music sources and their…
  3. LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® | What web developers should know about copyright - [...] another Rick Sanders, who also started out behind the curve, as I was and am, but has done a fine…
  4. Porn-Torrent Lawsuits: How Copyright Trolls Got Their Groove Back : The Anchor Plate - [...] stage of the "copyright trolls" that many had already written off as a dying breed. Rick Sanders, an IP…
  5. Transforming use? | LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION™ - […] Twitter, Rick Sanders pretty much writes a guest post for us — read his whole […]

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