* About Erik J. Heels

Erik J. Heels

Bio (The Short Story)

Erik J. HeelsErik Heels grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he enjoyed pick-up baseball, basketball, football, and ice hockey. He graduated from MIT, served on active duty in the USAF, and then graduated from law school, writing a book that paid for law school. He then worked for 6+ startups as a non-lawyer for 6+ years, including a 4-year stint with Verio, which was sold to NTT for $6 billion in 2000. In his spare time, Erik enjoys baseball, blogging, building (backyard ice hockey rinks, igloo, startups, treehouses), and seeking the perfect Hammond B-3 sound on his keyboard. Connect with Erik on LinkedIn.

Passions (What Erik Blogs About)

Erik is passionate about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Erik’s technology experience includes:

Erik’s law experience includes:

Erik’s baseball experience includes:

Erik’s music experience includes:

  • learning to play from chord sheets (tabs) as the piano player for the MIT Seekers at Park Street Church in Boston (1984-1988)
  • playing the organ at a friend’s wedding (1987)
  • performing an original piano composition at the MIT Chapel (1988)
  • seeking the perfect Hammond B-3 organ sound on various keyboards (1988-PRESENT)
  • being a hacker keyboard player in a rock cover band, The MCats Band, that raises money for cancer research and other charities and has played multiple times on the PMC Party Ferry (2005-PRESENT)

Erik’s life experiences and adventures include:

The Long Story (Hi Mom!)

  1. Education
  2. Memberships
  3. Experience: Present
  4. Experience: Past
  5. Publications: Books
  6. Publications: Columns
  7. Publications: Articles
  8. Publications: Blogs
  9. Publications: Favorites
  10. Speaking Engagements
  11. Media Appearances
  12. Publicity



  1. Treehouse, Member, 2018-PRESENT.
  2. American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow, 2003-PRESENT.
  3. American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), 1996-2005.
  4. Patent Bar” (i.e. registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, reg. no. 39, 218), Registered Patent Attorney, 1995-PRESENT.
  5. Massachusetts Bar, reg. no. 628520, 1995-PRESENT.
  6. Maine Bar, reg. no. 8051, 1995-PRESENT.
  7. American Bar Association (ABA), 1992-2011.

Experience: Present

  1. The MCats Band, Greater Boston, Co-founder and Keyboard Player, 2005-PRESENT.
    The MCats Band is a rock cover band founded to raise money for a local school. Featuring Paul Greenspan (lead guitar), Erik Heels (keyboards), Jon Oltsik (rhythm guitar), Josh Stein (drums), and Eamon Tighe (bass). Hailed as “actually pretty good” by fans, The MCats Band plays fundraising events for cancer nonprofits and other charities and has played multiple times on the PMC Party Ferry.
  2. Clocktower Law, Greater Boston, Founder and Managing Partner, 2001-PRESENT.
    Clocktower Law is a Boston-area patent and trademark law firm whose attorneys have built startups of their own, so we get it. We get not only what it means to be an entrepreneur and what is at stake – but also how IP works in the real world.
  3. GiantPeople LLC, Greater Boston, Entrepreneur and Founder, 1999-PRESENT.
    GiantPeople provides business analysis, business strategy, consulting, investing, IP due diligence, marketing, planning, and publishing.

Experience: Past

  1. University of Maine School of Law, Portland ME, Adjunct Professor, 2011-2014.
    Erik taught Maine Law‘s Patent Law 698 class.
  2. Heels.com, Charlotte NC, Co-founder, 2007-2008.
    Heels.com is an online retail shopping site for designer women’s shoes. Sold to Erik’s co-founder in 2008.
  3. Verio Inc., Denver CO, Dir. of Marketing and Sales, 1997-2001.
    Verio was the world’s largest web hosting company and a leading provider of comprehensive Internet solutions. Sold to NTT for $6 billion in 2000.
  4. RedStreet Consulting, Greater Boston, Co-founder, 1997-2001.
    RedStreet was an internet consulting company for legal professionals with a website featuring 1000+ law firm website reviews from 1996 to 1999.
  5. Inherent.Com Inc., Portland OR, VP of Marketing and Sales, 1996-1997.
    Inherent.Com was a pioneering provider of websites and other Internet and intranet solutions for legal professionals (including abanet.org and martindale.com).
  6. American Lawyer Media, New York NY, Dir. of Internet Product Development, 1995-1996.
    American Lawyer Media (ALM) was a legal media company whose online brands included Counsel Connect and CourtTV.
  7. Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, Rochester NY, Internet Systems Architect, 1995.
    Lawyers Cooperative Publishing (LCP) was a leading legal publisher and published the 6th and 7th editions of Erik’s first book, “The Legal List.”
  8. The Legal List, Greater Boston, Founder, 1992-1994.
    The Legal List (the company) published the first five editions of Erik’s first book, “The Legal List.” Erik sold those publishing rights to Lawyers Cooperative Publishing in 1995.
  9. Cayman Systems, Greater Boston, QA Engineer, 1990.
    Cayman Systems was a manufacturer of internetworking hardware and software, including the GatorBox, a Macintosh-to-Ethernet network gateway.
  10. United States Air Force, Multiple Locations, Captain, 1989-1992.
    Erik served on active duty in the USAF as a Student Pilot (Reese AFB, TX) and Program Manager, E-3 Airborne Warning And Control Systems (AWACS) Program Office (Hanscom AFB, MA).
  11. Bolt, Beranek & Newman (BBN), Greater Boston, QA Engineer, 1988-1989.
    BBN was a pioneering company that helped invent the Internet. BBN Advanced Computers Inc. (BBN ACI) was a manufacturer of the Butterfly GP1000 parallel-processing computer.
  12. Rautaruukki OY, Raahe Finland, Research Engineer, 1988.
    Rautaruukki (now Ruuuki) is Europe’s largest steel plant.

Publications: Books

Publications: Columns

  1. LegalResearcher.com” column, LegalResearcher.com, New York Law Publishing Company, with Richard P. Klau, August 1997 – March 1999.
  2. nothing.but.net” column, Law Practice Management magazine & Law Practice magazine, American Bar Association, October 1996 – December 2008.
  3. Legal Links” column, Martindale.com, Martindale-Hubbell, with Richard P. Klau, June 1996 – March 1997.
  4. Online” column, Student Lawyer magazine, American Bar Association, with Richard P. Klau, September 1994 – April 1999.

Publications: Articles

Publications: Blogs

Publications: Favorites

Some of Erik’s favorites (all flavors) include the following:

  1. * Drawing That Explains The Value Of Startup Patent Spending, ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, March 2019.
  2. * Top 10 Cartoons That Explain The New Year’s Resolutions Your Startup Should Make, ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, December 2018.
  3. * 2018 Red Sox Win World Series!, ” GiantPeople.com, GiantPeople, October 2018.
  4. * Founders Voted Clocktower One of Boston’s Most Recommended IP Law Firms, ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, October 2018.
  5. * MIT 30th Reunion, ”
    GiantPeople.com, GiantPeople, May 2018.
  6. * Memo For Record – Techstars USAF – Day 1 Mentor Madness, ” LinkedIn.com, GiantPeople, February 2018.
  7. * Mentors, Mentees, And Mentoring: What Parenting And Startups Have In Common, ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, January 2018.
  8. * Why You Want An IP Law Firm With Real World Experience, ” LinkedIn.com, Clocktower Law, December 2017.
  9. * Why You Want An IP Law Firm With Real World Experience, ” LinkedIn.com, Clocktower Law, December 2017.
  10. * Treehouse Lunches, ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, November 2017.
  11. * Rename Yawkey Way Yaz Way, ” ‘Rename Yawkey Way Yaz Way’ Facebook Page, GiantPeople, August 2017.
  12. * Why We PMC: The MCats Band Story, ” MCatsBand.org, GiantPeople, July 2017.
  13. * Vet My Bio For Veterans Day #VetMyBio, ” ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, November 2016.
  14. * The Who, What, Where, When, Why, And How Of Trademarks, ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, September 2016.
  15. * How To Build A Startup: One Board At A Time, Be Yourself, Get Plants, ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, June 2016.
  16. * The Who, What, Where, When, Why, And How Of Patents, ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, March 2014.
  17. * Thomas L. Bohan, Ph.D., JD, ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, January 2011.
  18. * Professor David D. Gregory, ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, January 2011.
  19. * A Mere Mortal’s Guide To Patents Post-Bilski (Or Why §101 Is A Red Herring), ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, July 2010.
  20. * Thomas R. Heels And Helena E. Heels, ” ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, May 2010.
  21. * The Perfect Treehouse (Part 2 – Videos), ” ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, October 2009.
  22. * Huge Igloo We Built And Slept In, ” ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, January 2009.
  23. * Nine Principles Of Baseball And Life, ” ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, May 2007.
  24. * Recursive Logo, ” ErikJHeels.com, Clocktower Law, September 2004.
  25. * How To Get And Defend A Patent Without Going Broke, ” Mass High Tech, American City Business Journals, August 2004.
  26. * Just Say Moo – How To Name And Brand Your Product To Make It Stand Out From The Crowd, ” Mass High Tech, American City Business Journals, December 2003.
  27. * An IP Audit Of Spongebob Squarepants, ” Mass High Tech, American City Business Journals, October 2003.
  28. * Software Patents: Good Or Evil? (Part 1), ” ClocktowerLaw.com, Clocktower Law, June 2003.
  29. * Zen And The Art Of Data Restoration, ” Law Practice Management magazine, “nothing.but.net” column, American Bar Association, May 2003.
  30. * GEORGE W. BUSH TO CHANGE HIS NAME TO GEORGE WWW BUSH, ” Fingbot.com, GiantPeople, April 2001.
  31. * BILL CLINTON TO LAUNCH E-COMMERCE DOT COM SITE WITH FALL 2000 IPO, ” RedStreet.com, GiantPeople, April 2000.
  32. * The Meaning Of Life Online, ” Judges’ Journal, American Bar Association, February 2000.
  33. * VISA PURCHASES THE INTERNET FOR $419.9 BILLION, ” RedStreet.com, GiantPeople, April 1999.
  34. * Publications: The Legal List, ” ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, March 1997.
  35. * Ease-of-Copying In The Digital Age – Turning A Negative Into A Positive, ” Seminar – Commercial Strategies for Intellectual Property, Patent, and Copyright Protection on the Internet, International Business Communications (IBC), April 1996.
  36. * The Case Against Daubert: The New Scientific Evidence ‘Standard’ and the Standards of the Several States, ” Journal of Forensic Sciences, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, November 1995.
  37. * Why Lawyers Should Get On The Internet, ” Law Practice Management magazine, American Bar Association, November 1994.
  38. * Finland, WW2, And International Law, ” ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, December 1993.
  39. * Computer Interface For A Passive Self-Contained Microcomputer Controlled Above-Knee Prosthesis, ” MIT Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, May 1988.

Speaking Engagements

  1. Bentley University, Waltham MA, Class: Entrepreneurial Thinking MG-335, guest lecturer, How To Build A Startup, 2016.
  2. Bentley University, Waltham MA, Class: Entrepreneurial Thinking MG-335, guest lecturer, Adventure, Risks, and Startups, 2015.
  3. Koa Labs Start-Up Club, Harvard Square, Cambridge MA, speaker, The Who, What, Where, When, Why, And How Of Patents, 2014.
  4. Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT), Cambridge MA, Global Education & Career Development (GECD), panelist (with Jasmina Aganovic and Barbara Donohue), Alternative Careers For Engineers, 2011.
  5. Law Firm Media Professionals, Boston MA, LFMP Boston Chapter, panelist (with Robert M. Buchanan and Robert J. Ambrogi), Blogging Best Practices, 2010.
  6. Google Legal Summit, New York NY, panelist (with Nicole Wong, Steven Levy, Nicholas Thompson, and Richard P. Klau), Scaling Google’s Core Values: Innovation And Disruption, 2010.
  7. Babson College, Wellesley MA, Engineering Class: Entrepreneurship and New Ventures, guest lecturer, Got IP? Top Ten Tips for Identifying, Protecting, and Making Money from Intellectual Property, 2004-2005.
  8. American Bar Association, Chicago IL, ABA TechShow, speaker (with Ernest Svenson), Mac, Linux, Open Source: The Other Alternatives, 2004.
  9. University of Maine School of Law, Portland ME, The Technology Law Center’s 4th Annual Law and Technology Conference, speaker (with Tim Cranton (Microsoft), John Cronin (IP Capital Group), Karen Hersey (Franklin Pierce Law Center), Doug Hurley (Gartner Inc.), David Martin (M-CAM Inc.), Eben Moglen (Columbia Law School), Harlan Onsrud (University of Maine), Jordan Pollack (Brandeis University), Larry Rosen (Rosenlaw.com), and Richard Stallman (Free Software Foundation)), Software Patents: Good or Evil?, 2003.
  10. Boston Bar Association, Boston MA, speaker, Top Ten Things You Should Know about the UDRP, 2002.
  11. Babson College, Wellesley MA, MBA Class: Technology and E-Commerce Law, guest lecturer, Patents vs. Trade Secrets, 2002.
  12. Harvard Law School, Cambridge MA, Class: Advanced Legal Research, guest lecturer, The Future of Legal Research, 1998.
  13. International Business Communications (IBC), Atlanta GA, Seminar: Commercial Strategies for Intellectual Property, Patent, and Copyright Protection on the Internet, speaker, Ease-of-Copying in the Digital Age: Turning a Negative into a Positive, 1996.
  14. American Bar Association, Chicago IL, ABA TechShow, speaker, Beyond the Buzzwords: The Future of the Internet, 1996.
  15. American Bar Association, Chicago IL, ABA Annual Meeting, speaker, The Internet: Opportunities and Challenges on the Electronic Frontier, 1995.
  16. Maine State Bar Association, Portland ME, MSBA Summer Meeting, speaker, The Internet and the Law, 1995.
  17. Arizona State Bar Association, Phoenix AZ, State Bar of Arizona Annual Convention, speaker, How to be Pleasantly Surprised by the Internet, 1995.

Media Appearances

Including television, video, webcasts, radio, audio, and podcasts.

  1. TWiL 345 Video: Fax It To Twitter: 2016-05-13, ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, February 2017.
  2. Podcast: The Brass Ring by Gina Ghioldi (feat. Erik J. Heels), ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, March 2011.
  3. TWiL 99 Video: Butt Dialing To Jail: 2011-02-18, ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, February 2011.
  4. TWiL 68 Video: Whiz Bang Click: 2010-07-09, ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, July 2010.
  5. TWiL 66 Video: Wrestling Pigs And Unicorns: 2010-06-28, ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, June 2010.
  6. TWiL 48 Video: Buzz Kill: 2010-02-19, ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, February 2010.
  7. TV: Stay Connected Episode II (with Erik J. Heels), ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, April 2009.
  8. TV: Nothing To Smile About: Teeth Whitening Problems Redux (feat. Erik J. Heels), TeethWhiteningFail.com, GiantPeople, March 2009.
  9. Podcast: What is High Speed Fiber Optic ISP Service Really Like? (feat. Erik J. Heels), ErikJHeels.com, GiantPeople, January 2008.
  10. TV: The Internet for Practical Litigators (with Erik J. Heels), American Law Institute-American Bar Association (ALI-ABA), Video Law Review, televised over the American Law Network, February 1997.


“What gives lawyers like Heels the courage to risk, while others merely daydream out the window, wishing mightily that they were doing something else?”
ABA Journal
“[Erik J. Heels’s book The Legal List is] a brilliant resource for the electronically inclined.”
Wired magazine
“[Erik J. Heels’s book The Legal List is an] absolutely mind-boggling resource for Internet legal eagles…. Not incredibly exciting, mind you; just relentlessly complete.”
Lycos Top 5%
“Anyone serious about legal research and resources needs to get a copy of Erik J. Heels’s The Legal List, which has become the de facto source of legal and law-related sites on the Internet.”
Internet World magazine
“[M]any on the Net consider [Erik J. Heels’s book The Legal List] the most authoritative guide of its kind.”
The New York Times