Nikki L. Sanford


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Nikki Sanford focuses her intellectual property practice on patent prosecution and IP portfolio development in the physics, biotechnology, computer science, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering industries. Through her extensive research and academic experience, she is well-versed in a range of scientific fields and can quickly grasp new technologies. Nikki has worked on multinational research projects focusing on nuclear physics, bioengineering and computer science, and has conducted research in other areas such as biotechnology, mechanical engineering, electronics and mathematics. 

Nikki has been invited to discuss her research and policy work at multiple national conferences and symposia. With additional legislative experience in the Congressional Science Committee on Capitol Hill, Nikki understands the intricate relationships among science, law and policy. Her strong communication skills and ability to convey scientific concepts to a variety of audiences make her a competent and effective advocate for clients. 


  • Strategically develops and manages intellectual property and patent portfolios for national and international corporations, including Fortune 500 companies, universities, non-profit organizations, research institutes, startups and individual inventors.
  • Drafts and prosecutes U.S., Patent Cooperation Treaty and foreign patent applications in the biomedical, physics, electrical, mechanical, life science, computer science and software arts.
  • Provides patent and IP support to clients in an extensive range of industries and technologies, including electronics, optical communications, machine-learning and artificial intelligence (AI), medical devices, medical imaging technologies, bioelectronics, wearable technology, semiconductors, telecommunications, software, energy storage, heating systems, food products, consumer products, financial technology, banking systems, aerospace and aviation, gaming devices, construction equipment, fitness equipment, musical devices and equipment, cryptography, cartography and manufacturing technologies.
  • Counsels nonprofits and businesses on protecting intellectual property rights, including contractual/licensing agreements, trademark and copyright registration, clearance investigations and privacy considerations.
  • Performs IP due diligence and portfolio analyses related to corporate transactions, mergers and acquisitions.
  • Counsels artists, music groups and nonprofit organizations on copyright considerations, licensing, brand development and intellectual property protection.
  • Served as counsel in patent litigation matters relating to biotechnology, mechanical devices and food technologies, assisting in infringement analyses, fact discovery, depositions and motion practice.
  • Worked in the U.S. House of Representatives’ Congressional Science Committee, analyzing legislative policy issues. Discussed, in research conferences, the influence of science on policymaking and the relationships among science, law and policy.

Recognitions and Memberships


  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Seattle Intellectual Property Inn of Court
  • Washington State Patent Law Association
  • King County Bar Association
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association

Pro Bono

  • Counsels local nonprofits on intellectual property and privacy considerations.
  • Developed trademark portfolio for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization funding multiple sclerosis research and supporting awareness efforts through national running events.

Prior Positions

  • BakerHostetler: Summer Associate 
  • U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
    • American Institute of Physics, Mather Public Policy Program
  • Duke University, Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory: Research Assistant 


  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Registration No. 75,310
  • Washington


  • M.S., Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 2021
  • J.D., William & Mary Law School, 2016; Articles Editor, Environmental Law and Policy Review
  • B.S., Mathematics, High Point University, 2013, magna cum laude
  • B.A., Physics, High Point University, 2013, magna cum laude