Attorney Profiles

Our focus every day is to help business owners maximize the value and protection of their brand assets.

Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC is a boutique trademark law practice planted firmly and accessibly a few miles away from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In 1999, Erik Pelton launched his own firm after serving as a trademark examiner at the USPTO. Our flat fees and wealth of experience provide tremendous value to businesses.

The EMP&A team brings extensive experience to all things intellectual property law. More than just attorneys who represent clients before the USPTO or the courts, we are counselors who strive to work closely to support the business goals of clients. Merging today’s technology with a collaborative approach allows us to deliver superior service. As a complete trademark partner, EMP&A helps clients make the most of their brand assets – all reasonably priced on a flat-fee basis. Above and beyond trademark registration, we:

  • Guide and advise regarding intellectual property
  • Combine legal counsel with years of experience counseling business owners
  • Help grow and protect our clients’ brands
  • Add financial value to businesses by strengthening brands

Erik M. Pelton, Attorney at Law

As the founder and managing attorney of Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC, Erik Pelton is a recognized leader in the trademark law field. With more than 10 years of experience, he is well versed in all aspects of trademark registration as well as proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) because he’s worked the registration process from both sides. Prior to starting the firm in 1999, Erik worked for two years as an examiner at the USPTO. In more than fifteen years of private practice, he has registered more than 2,000 U.S. trademarks for clients, represented dozens of parties in Trademark Trial and Appeal Board disputes, and practiced before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.


  • Graduate of Boston University and Catholic University School of Law
  • Creator of the Apptorney iPhone® application for intellectual property attorneys
  • Named a Top 10 trademark filer by NameProtect’s Trademark Insider three times.
  • Frequent expert speaker on all areas of Trademark Law and Intellectual Property Issues for a variety of business and law groups and conferences
  • Recognized by the City of Falls Church Economic Development Authority for contributions to the city’s trademark efforts
  • Chapter Editor for the 2011 ABA’s Annual Review of Intellectual Property Law Developments
  • Chapter editor for A Legal Strategist’s Guide to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Practice, 3rd Edition (2015)
  • Falls Church Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (2011 to present)


John C. Heinbockel – Associate Attorney

John (“JC”) Heinbockel is an associate attorney with Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC, in Falls Church, VA, where he practices trademark law. JC was drawn to intellectual property and trademark law through his interests in technology and the arts. Today, learning about the firm’s clients’ businesses and products remains his favorite part of his work.

JC joined the firm as a law clerk in 2015 after graduating magna cum laude from American University Washington College of Law. In law school, he served as Senior Articles Editor of the American University Law Review and as a Dean’s Fellow for Prof. Paul Figley. JC was also a member of the Moot Court Honor Society as a competitor in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, where he won Honorable Mention for Best Oralist at the 2014 Vis East Competition in Hong Kong.

Prior to law school, JC lived and worked in Shanghai, China for four years after earning his Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies, with minors in Economics and Mandarin, at the University of Richmond. In Shanghai, he worked as a freelance writer and editor, and in various capacities for several companies that merged technology with language education. JC also played in a rock band that toured throughout China and Mongolia and co-founded an independent music and design label, Twin Horizon. Before leaving Shanghai in 2012, JC helped organize and release the compilation record “We Are Shanghai, Vol. 1,” featuring members of the local Shanghai independent music scene.

JC continues to be interested in emerging technologies and the arts. He is a member of the New York State bar.

Erik M. Pelton & Associates – Firm Experience

Erik M. Pelton, Esq. founded his trademark law practice and web site in 1999 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to small businesses and his practice is limited to trademark and copyright matters. While admitted to practice only in New Jersey, Mr. Pelton’s practice area enables him to represent clients throughout the United States. Prior to beginning his own practice, Mr. Pelton reviewed trademark applications as an Attorney for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Pelton’s extensive experience at the U.S.P.T.O. included writing appellate briefs and statutory refusals of trademark registrations, and researching trademark law. At the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Mr. Pelton earned performance ratings of ‘commendable;’ or ‘outstanding’ in all categories. In law school beforehand, Mr. Pelton focused on the convergence of new technologies, communications, and intellectual property law during internships for National Public Radio, PBS Broadcasting, and The White House. Building upon his experience and recognizing the rising value of trademark protection in the information age, Mr. Pelton launched the boutique trademark firm to provide affordable legal assistance for small businesses in need of trademark protection. Since then, Mr. Pelton’s counsel has helped build and sustain strong brands for hundreds of Internet ventures, software companies, inventors, restaurants, and small businesses across the U.S. and abroad.


  • Flat Fees for many attorney services
  • No hidden costs
  • Free initial consultations available


  • Priorietary software for daily electronic monitoring of trademark application status and deadlines
  • Extensive experience using trademark search engines and databases
  • Developer of Apptorney® intellectual property app
  • Creator of sofTMware® online tool for monitoring trademark applications and registrations
  • Author of Tuesday Trademark Tip, a weekly brief email column
  • Free videos available via

Customer Service

  • Prompt, Professional, and Personal Service
  • Easily accessible via email or phone
  • Conveniently located just a few miles from the U.S.P.T.O.

Some of our Client’s Registered Trademarks