About Erik

Erik J. Heels

Erik J. Heels

Erik John Heels (born June 6, 1966) is a patent attorney, trademark lawyer, and the founder of Clocktower Law Group (Clocktower), a patent and trademark law firm in Great Boston that caters to startups and whose representative clients include (alphabetically): AppNexus (appnexus.com, with 900+ employees and over $140 million raised since 2007), KAYAK (kayak.com, acquired by Priceline for $2.1 billion in 2013), L.L. Bean (llbean.com, privately held since 1912), Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (pmc.org, founded in 1980, the nation’s original fundraising bike-a-thon and largest contributor to The Jimmy Fund), and Right Media (rightmedia.com, acquired by Yahoo! for $850 million in 2007).

Erik’s technology experience includes co-founding (with the domain name originally used for Clocktower) the Heels.com shoe store (sold to Erik’s co-founder in 2008), Verio (acquired by NTT for $6 billion in 2000), Cayman Systems (1990), Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) (1988), and first getting on the Internet as part of Project Athena at MIT (1984).

Erik’s law experience includes includes Clocktower Law Group (Clocktower) (2001-present), teaching patent law as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maine School of Law (2011-2014), and writing seven editions of “The Legal List” (the first book published simultaneously on the Internet and in print, reviews of which appeared in Wired magazine, Internet World magazine, and The New York Times) (1992-1995).

Erik’s baseball experience includes attending the 2013 World Series Game 6, attending the 2008 ALCS Game 5, coaching Little League for 10 years (2000-2009), and being a lifelong Red Sox fan (1966-present).

Erik’s music experience includes 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 (2005-present), performing an original piano composition at the MIT Chapel (1988), playing the organ at a friend’s wedding (1987), and learning to play from chord sheets (tabs) as the piano player for the MIT Seekers at Park Street Church in Boston (1984-1988).

Erik’s life experiences and adventures include raising 3 children (Sam, Ben, and Sonja) (1994-present), co-building (with his kids) the perfect treehouse (2003-2004), pulling 6 Gs and soloing a jet in the Air Force (1989), swimming in the Arctic Ocean (1988), and co-building (with his brother, Mark) and sleeping in a huge igloo (1982).

Erik is a frequent speaker (in person and virtually) and writer (1200+ publications and counting). He earned his BS in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his JD from the University of Maine School of Law (Maine Law). Erik claims to publish the #1 blog about technology, law, baseball, and rock ‘n’ roll at ErikJHeels.com. Brevity is not his strong suit.


“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

“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

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