Erik Paul Belt is a trial attorney concentrating in patent, trademark, and licensing disputes in federal and state courts, arbitrations, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He has handled a wide range of technology cases involving, for example, x-ray inspection systems, speech recognition software, Internet security software, diagnostic and medical devices, immunoassays, telecommunications electronics, and water purification systems.
Erik has extensive experience representing national and international clients in patent litigation in federal courts throughout the country. He has successfully enforced patent rights and has also defended companies accused of infringement. Erik has also designed and implemented trademark and copyright protection and enforcement strategies for clients in virtually every industry, including business consulting, financial services, life sciences, electronics, communications equipment, computer products, and consumer goods.
Erik’s recent litigation victories include, for example, a case involving infringement of x-ray technology patents in which he obtained sanctions against an alleged infringer for making material misrepresentations to the court and for other misconduct. Sanctions included an award of attorneys’ fees and striking of the validity defenses. He also successfully moved to exclude the alleged infringer’s expert witness. This case settled on the first day of trial, after Erik and his team defeated the accused infringer’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement and won a number of motions in limine.
In a precedent-setting case, Erik represented a vendor of Internet security software that had been sued by an adware company for blocking pop-up ads and adware. A federal court dismissed the claims, holding that his client was immune from civil liability under the Communications Decency Act. 47 USC § 230(c)(2)(B). The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling. See Zango, Inc. v. Kaspersky Lab., Inc. (9th Cir. Case No. 07-35800). The case set precedent as the first application of the Act to immunize a vendor of Internet security software used to screen adware and spyware.
Erik represented a Sonoma winery that owned a well-known trademark. In a summary judgment decision, a federal court ruled that the winery’s licensee, an importer of luxury vodka, breached the license, that the winery properly terminated the license, and that the importer’s continued sale of the vodka infringed the winery’s trademark rights. The case settled soon afterwards.
Erik represented an R&D lab that had invented the key component of a medical diagnostic device. When the R&D lab discovered that its licensee, the manufacturer of the device, was using questionable accounting methods to reduce royalties, the lab sued to recover the unpaid royalties. Erik’s client was awarded approximately $11 million in unpaid royalties, attorneys’ fees, and interest. The First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this award. See Cytyc Corp. v. DEKA Products Limited Partnership, 439 F.2d 27 (1st Cir. 2006).
Erik is the past president of the Boston Patent Law Association. In addition, the judges of the District of Massachusetts appointed Erik to chair a blue ribbon committee charged with drafting proposed revisions to the local rules governing patent infringement cases. Previously, he served on IP Law360’s Intellectual Property Editorial Advisory Board for 2012 and 2013.