Eric Mills is a seasoned Intellectual Property practitioner and registered patent attorney who has the broad-based understanding and hands-on experience clients need to manage virtually every aspect of their intellectual property matters, from patents and trademarks to copyrights and trade secrets.

Eric devotes a significant portion of his practice to preparing and prosecuting patent and trademark applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in foreign jurisdictions, as well as advising regarding issues of patent and trademark infringement. He is well versed in the Patent Cooperation Treaty and Madrid protocols, and concentrates his practice in the area of international intellectual property law. Eric has an extensive background in strategic planning and management of client intellectual property portfolios, including acquisition, maintenance, and licensing of U.S. and foreign patent and trademark assets.

Clients that Eric works closely with include a number of companies ranging from international manufacturing corporations to technology start-ups. This includes businesses with interests in medical and diagnostic devices; geotechnical and geogrid products; microfluidic devices; textiles and nonwovens; material sciences; home and personal appliances; and general mechanical, electromechanical, and biomechanical technologies. He also partners with various universities in order to protect intellectual property developed at the educational institution level.

Community & Professional

  • 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
  • Past 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)

Outside Maynard Nexsen

Outside of his practice at the firm, Eric retired at the rank of Commander from the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve in 2020.  During his 20 years of military service, he served in billet locations in North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Washington, and held positions in operations (search and rescue, antidrug enforcement, and military operations), civil engineering, and legal support.  Eric completed his military career as the Senior Reserve JAG Officer for the Pacific Northwest region in Seattle, WA


  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Copyright Law in 2012 – 2015, 2019, 2020, 2023, and Patent Law in 2023; "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 Legal Elite, Business North Carolina - Intellectual Property, 2004, 2006, 2008-2012
    • Top-ranked Winner- Intellectual Property - 2012
    • 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





  • State Bar: North Carolina
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. District Court: North Carolina (Eastern) 
  • United States Supreme Court
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How does your practice collaborate with other areas of the firm to provide exceptional client service?

Intellectual property touches on almost all other areas of practice in some way. Being able to collaborate with other practice professionals brings the whole package of strategic advisement.

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