Louis A. Miller, 54, chief patent counsel for the Naval Sea Systems Command since 1959, died Wednesday at his home in Springfield, Md., after a heart attack.

Born in Washington, he received an engineering degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He served in the Pacific as a lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II.

After the war, Mr. Miller joined the U.S. Patent Office as a patent examiner and attended Georgetown University Law Center at night, where he earned a doctor of jurisprudence degree.

He started with the Navy Department in 1951 as a patent lawyer in the Office of Naval Research.

Mr. Miller was a member of the District and Federal Bar associations, the Kenwood Country Club and the West River Sailing Club in Galesville, Md.

He is survived by his wife, Anne N., and a son, Richard, of the home; another son, John, of Denver; two daughters, Caroline M. Grinde, of San Francisco, and Diane Buas, of Wheaton, and two sisters, Doris M. Cocker, of Arlington, and Joan Derk, of Wheaton.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the Lions Eye Bank and Research Foundation in Washington.