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Rick Sanders


rick sanders

I 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.

Intellectual-property litigation is doubly disorienting: arcane and uncertain. Lawsuits (and similar proceedings, like arbitrations and oppositions) put the parties at the mercy of unfamiliar rules that don’t always fit the particular case. Intellectual-property laws are counter-intuitive and unsettled, with surprisingly high risks for the litigants. For you, the result is a profound sense of loss of control.

My job is to explain what’s going on at every step, while working with you on a litigation strategy that acknowledges your budgetary constraints and business realities, so that you can make informed decisions and retain control.

When I represent you, I want to be the most knowledgeable and best-prepared lawyer in the room or on the call. I started my career at a large Silicon Valley firm before moving to Nashville, where I practiced at one of its leading law firms. I also taught Copyright Law at Vanderbilt University Law School for three years. I launched Aaron | Sanders with Tara Aaron in 2011, because 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 continue in solo practice with these same goals.

I am annually recognized as a “Super Lawyer” and a “Best Lawyer,” for intellectual property litigation, copyright law and trademark law, among other practice areas.

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


  • Rick Sanders Law, PLLC, (formerly Aaron & Sanders), 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 Review, Annual Entertainment Law in Review, Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 4, 2013 (Nashville Bar Ass’n).
  • Presenter, Internet 101Cyber 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 Issues, Scary 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) (organization is now defunct)
  • Judge, National First Amentment Moot Court (2009–2019).
  • Judge and Scorer, Davidson County Mock Trial Competition (2007-2018).



  • 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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