In Memoriam – Founding Attorney
Chief Paralegal and Operations Manager
Brian L. Belles, Esq. (Founding Attorney)
Brian L. Belles has over a decade of experience as an intellectual property attorney and mechanical engineer and has been associated with a number of prestigious national and international law firms Mr. Belles concentrates his practice in patent preparation and patent prosecution primarily in the mechanical and electromechanical arts. Mr. Belles has prepared and prosecuted numerous patents that have been successfully litigated and enforced against competitors, resulting in either licensing revenue when monetization was desired or injunctions when competitive technical advantages could not be compromised.
Brian also represents clients in patent litigation matters, handles freedom-to-operate studies and works closely with companies to identify competitor R&D trends and to develop patent portfolios that suit their individual needs.
Brian’s practice covers all areas of intellectual property procurement and enforcement, with a focus on the development, management and monetization of domestic and international patent portfolios. His practice includes the representation of clients in a wide variety of mechanical and electromechanical technologies, including nuclear, medical devices, semiconductor, electrical, military equipment, nanotechnology, network systems, wireless communications, internet applications, software and electronics.
He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and is admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is also a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the International Trademark Association.
Andrew B. Katz, Esq. (In Memoriam – Founding Attorney)
Andrew B. Katz has over 20 years experience as an intellectual property attorney and has been associated with a number of prestigious national and regional law firms in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Andy has developed a thriving practice and counsels clients of all types and sizes in most aspects of intellectual property law. He is a registered Patent attorney and applies his technical background to develop a strong understanding of the technologies that are important to his clients.
Andy places equal emphasis on safeguarding intangible assets and on meeting the business objectives of his clients. In this capacity, he serves a client base with representatives in many different industries and a large number of clients from the computer software and e-commerce sectors. His intellectual property responsibilities include the acquisition, maintenance, protection and enforcement of patents, copyrights and trademarks and trade secrets. With regard to the Internet, Andy registers, transfers and manages domain names, handles UDRP proceedings and drafts Web site protection policies and plans.
Andy’s background in government contracting allows him to assist contractors with intellectual property issues that arise in the course of doing business with the government, including technical data rights retention under the Department of Defense and civilian agency regulations. He has negotiated technology transfer agreements and provided assistance with strategies for marketing to federal government. Further, he works closely with start-ups and emerging businesses, particularly those in technology sectors. In addition, his contracts experience makes Andy an excellent contracts draftsman and negotiator.
Some of Andy’s more recent successes include drafting and negotiating complex e-prescription systems licenses for hospitals nationwide, obtaining patent protection for a cutting edge cellular telephone accessories, restoring the validity of a client’s copyright through an appeal to the Third Circuit, managing a large international trademark portfolio for a major apparel manufacturer and distributor, amicably resolving of a copyright infringement allegation, and drafting on-line agreements for a Kleiner-Perkins funded internet venture.
Andy is well published in the intellectual property community on such topics as file sharing software and its effect on the music industry, privacy in Internet marketing, legal issues affecting start-up technology companies and the rise of software patenting. He has been quoted extensively in Best’s Review in connection with Internet-related issues that affect the insurance industry and has drafted “Intellectual Property and the Web,” a 50+ page chapter of an insurance handbook. An accomplished speaker, he has lectured about the perils of e-commerce, digital rights management and content protection.
Andy also serves as an expert witness in the areas of design patents and copyright and testified as such in an international business dispute. He has also been quoted as an authority on points of law in the following publications: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times, The National Law Journal, Best’s Review, Lawyers Weekly USA, The Pennsylvania Business Journal, The San Jose Mercury News and The Bay-Area Recorder.
He is a member of the Pennsylvania and District of Columbia Bar Associations and is admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is also a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the International Trademark Association.
Andy graduated from the George Washington University National Law Center, receiving his J.D. in 1989, and from Lafayette College in 1986 with an A.B. in Engineering.
When Andy’s not practicing law, he spends his time watching his family play sports (His wife has scaled many of the toughest routes at Seneca Rocks WV, his son Daniel, a sophomore at Upper Dublin High School, recently advanced to the State doubles Championships in Hershey PA and his son Aaron snowboards, longboards and plays frisbee). Andy also enjoys listening to and collecting music and going to concerts at venues up and down the east coast. Most importantly, Andy enjoys relaxing with friends and family and everyone has a smile on their face.
Thomas H. Kelly
Thomas Harper Kelly is an accomplished intellectual property attorney with extensive experience working with clients in the apparel, consumer products, pharmaceutical, and real estate industries. Tom provides counseling services to clients selecting new marks, building branding strategies, developing management and maintenance strategies for trademark portfolios, and negotiating license agreements.
Tom has represented clients in disputes before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and in cases in state and federal courts involving claims of trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and unfair competition. He has experience in preparing litigation strategies, drafting and responding to discovery requests, and negotiating settlements.
Drexel University, BA
Louis J. Levy , Esq. (Attorney)
Lou has extensive experience advising clients in the areas of trademark, copyright, unfair competition, publicity rights, e-commerce, data privacy, computer security, and online and mobile advertising. In the course of his career, he has represented a broad range of domestic and international clients in the radio, television, software, music, telecommunications, electronics and consumer products industries before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. He has also represented clients in federal court on matters relating to trademark and copyright infringement, cybersquatting, and online advertising issues.
He has also successfully prosecuted numerous domain name dispute cases before World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) and National Arbitration Forum panels under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”). Lou has assisted clients to negotiate a wide range of licenses and agreements, including trademark licenses, online and wireless content distribution agreements, and agreements with online advertising, text messaging, and other service providers. He has also negotiated software distribution and resale agreements, television program production joint venture agreements, and numerous trademark and copyright licenses.
Lou is also a trained mediator. He was recently appointed Chairman of the International Trademark Association’s Trademark Mediators Network (formerly the Panel of Neutrals), an international panel comprised of trained mediators with expertise in the fields of trademark law and unfair competition. He is certified to accept referrals for mediation from the General District Court of Virginia, and has mediated numerous disputes on a volunteer basis for the Office of the State’s Attorney for Montgomery County (MD), the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County, and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. He has also served as a mediating attorney on behalf of his clients.
Before joining Belles Katz, Lou was a partner with Lerman Senter, PLLC, specializing in trademark, copyright, privacy and e-commerce issues, with a particular focus on the broadcast media industry. Prior to joining Lerman Senter, he was an associate with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP in the firm’s Tokyo and Washington, D.C. offices. While in Tokyo, Mr. Levy also served as an adjunct professor at Temple University’s Tokyo campus, where he co-taught a course in comparative intellectual property law.
Lou is a member of the District of Columbia and Maryland Bar Associations, the International Trademark Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, and the International Association of Privacy Professionals. He is also a member of the American Bar Association, and is president of the D.C. Computer Law Forum.
Lou graduated from the American University’s Washington College of Law, receiving his J. D. in 1995. He also completed a Master’s Degree in International Affairs at Columbia University in 1987 and a Master’s in Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Toronto in 1979. He received a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature from Northwestern University in 1978.
Before becoming an attorney, Lou worked as a telecommunications regulatory and policy analyst for the management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where he edited and regularly contributed to an award-winning U.S. government newsletter on telecommunications policy, regulation, and technology, entitled NS/EP Telecom News. He also analyzed Soviet/Russian and Eastern European economic, political and military affairs for Booz Allen and, prior to that, for the Committee for National Security, a Washington, D.C. think tank.
In May, 2016, Lou participated as a panelist on mediation at the INTA Annual Meeting in Orlando.
He enjoys playing jazz piano and cooking. Lou also serves as a volunteer mediator for the Montgomery County State Attorney’s Office.
Frank Spanitz, Esq. (Attorney)
Frank Spanitz practices in the area of intellectual property law, concentrating his practice in prosecuting and procuring domestic and foreign utility and design patents, patent portfolio development and strategies, licensing, opinions including freedom-to-operate, patentability and non-infringement, patent searches, business transaction IP due diligence, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and counseling on various IP matters. He is also experienced in arbitration and patent litigation, and regularly counsels clients on patent cease and desist and licensing offer issues.
Actively serving national, international, and regional clients from his Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia offices, Mr. Spanitz practices in a variety of technical fields including mechanical, electro-mechanical, medical and oral care, computer/server and processor based systems, local area and web-based network data and communication systems, software applications, consumer electronics, semiconductor devices/fabrication, barcode scanners, radar systems, product/container packaging, firearms, green energy technologies (solar cells, wind, water, biofuels, etc.), manufacturing equipment/processes, casting/molding, materials, power generation equipment/systems, fluid and piping systems/components, wastewater treatment, automotive, fasteners, tools, textiles, door and hinge hardware, structural equipment, and others. He represents individuals/entrepreneurs, startup businesses, and corporate clients from small to large in developing appropriate strategies to maximize protection with a business-minded and budget focus.
Mr. Spanitz is a licensed professional engineer. Prior to practicing law, he acquired extensive industry and business experience as a senior engineer/project manager for PPL, Inc. (formerly Pennsylvania Power & Light Company). In that capacity, he developed, planned, designed, and managed multimillion-dollar power generating plant projects involving equipment/systems related to fossil fuel combustion, fuel and ash handling, water and air pollution control, process systems, heat transfer, computer-controlled systems, and new power generation technologies.
Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New York, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Mr. Spanitz is also a member of the Pennsylvania and New York bar associations. He is also admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and U.S. District Courts for the Southern District and Eastern District of New York. Prior to joining Belles Katz LLC, he was most recently a partner at Philadelphia-based Duane Morris LLP. Mr. Spanitz previously practiced law at the prestigious former IP boutique firm of Pennie & Edmonds LLP and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP both in New York City.
Mr. Spanitz is a 1999 cum laude graduate of Widener University School of Law, where he was honored as a Widener Scholar and held the position of research editor of The Delaware Journal of Corporate Law. He is also a graduate of Villanova University (B.S.M.E.). Mr. Spanitz is an adjunct professor at Lehigh University in the Graduate School of the College of Business and Finance. Under the Baker Institute for entrepreneurship, he teaches an entrepreneurial focused intellectual property and valuation course in the Venture Series to M.B.A., corporate, and startup company students.
Todd E. Klein, Esq. (Attorney)
Todd Klein is a registered patent attorney with experience in both patent prosecution and litigation matters. Prior to moving to Philadelphia and joining Belles Katz LLC, Todd worked at a top rated international law firm in Washington, D.C.
Todd provides legal counsel to clients of all sizes including fortune 500 corporations and start-ups and everything in between. Todd’s current practice concentrates in patent preparation and prosecution primarily in the mechanical, electrical, and electromechanical arts in both domestic and global markets, depending on the particular client’s needs. Some of the larger corporations that Todd represents file patent applications in over twenty countries around the globe, giving Todd extensive experience in both domestic and international patent prosecution. This experience has enabled Todd to become an expert at drafting patent applications that are tailored for success in the United States and in all other countries throughout the world. Todd’s practice includes the representation of clients in a wide variety of technologies including semiconductor equipment, personal safety devices, art equipment, network systems, consumer products, computer software and electronics.
Todd also handles freedom-to-operate assessments and works with his clients to modify their products prior to launch to substantially minimize the likelihood of patent infringement litigation.
Todd is admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Todd graduated from the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law in 2008, receiving his J.D. cum laude, and from the University of Maryland in 2005 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.
In his spare time, Todd enjoys playing “old man” soccer, spending time with his growing family, and traveling when time permits. He and his family have a strong desire to remain living in Philadelphia and are putting their collective efforts into improving the Philadelphia Public Schools generally and their catchment school E.M. Stanton Elementary specifically. Currently, Todd’s wife is Board President of Stanton Community Partners, the community partnership for E.M Stanton.
Joseph Miller, Esq. (Attorney)
Joseph Miller is an intellectual property attorney with a broad range of experience in a variety of roles and industries. Joe’s practice covers most areas of intellectual property procurement and enforcement, including patent portfolio development and management, clearances, opinions, licensing, joint development agreements, due diligence, trademark portfolio development and management, trade secrets, and copyrights. Joe has represented clients in a variety of electrical, computer, and mechanical technologies, including RFID, software, tracking devices, electronic article surveillance, optics, telecommunication systems, wireless, sonar surveillance, wave digital filters, carbon nanotubes, printers, and valve systems.
Prior to joining Belles Katz LLC, Joe held the position of Chief IP Counsel for a publicly traded technology company. As with other members of Belles Katz LLC, Joe also practiced as an IP attorney for a prestigious international law firm for a number of years prior to advancing his career and skill set in the in-house setting. Joe has also served as a federal law clerk to The Honorable Joseph J. Farnan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.
Joe is a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and he is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Joe is a 2004 cum laude graduate of Ave Maria School of Law, where he served as the Managing Editor for the school’s law review. He is also a 2001 cum laude graduate of Rowan University, where he received a B.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering.
When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, exercising, and coaching baseball.
Benjamin J. Gillespie, Esq. (Attorney)
Benjamin Gillespie practices in the area of intellectual property law, focusing on patent matters. With his background in material science, Benjamin concentrates on patent preparation and prosecution for chemical and mechanical technology. He has experience in both commercial and academic research settings with his research directed towards polymer processing additives, composites for EMI-shielding, and nano-materials.
Prior to joining Belles Katz LLC, Benjamin spent over four years working as an examiner for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As an examiner, he routinely evaluated the compositions of organic and inorganic chemical technology – including biomedical devices, commercial adhesives and coatings, and composite materials.
Benjamin is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is a member of the Licensing Executives Society and the Drexel Young Alumni Board. He received his J.D. from Temple University, Beasley School of Law in 2013, and his B.S. in Material Science and Engineering from Drexel University in 2006.
Matthew E. Herd, Esq. (Attorney)
Matthew E. Herd concentrates his practice in intellectual property law, focusing on patent matters. Matthew has experience in both patent prosecution and litigation matters, and concentrates on mechanical and electromechanical technologies. He has experience in a wide array of electronics manufacturing technologies.
Prior to joining Belles Katz LLC, Matthew acquired extensive business and industry experience in electronics technologies while working as an engineer for a barcode scanner company currently owned by Honeywell and a company that designed and manufactured telematics equipment for the rail industry. In those roles, he became familiar with satellite- and cellular-based communications technologies as well as the various techniques used to manufacture electronics products.
Matthew is a member of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar Associations and is admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is also a member of the Benjamin Franklin American Inn of Court.
Matthew graduated from the Thomas Kline School of Law at Drexel University in 2014, with a concentration in intellectual property. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2005 and an M.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, both with a focus on control systems and electromechanical technologies.
Suzanne M. Chocklette (Chief Paralegal and Operations Manager)
Suzanne Chocklette serves as a chief paralegal and operations manager to the firm’s patent group. She has over 20 years of intellectual property experience. Her responsibilities include filing domestic patent applications and managing international portfolios of the firm’s top clients. She also manages domestic and foreign patent prosecution and coordinates with a network of foreign associates regarding patent protection.
Prior to joining Belles Katz LLC, Suzanne worked for the intellectual property groups at several of Philadelphia’s largest law firms, gaining significant experience in the development, management and prosecution of patents as well as the use of a variety of IP docketing software. Her legal experience also includes work in trademark, copyright and patent litigation matters.
Suzanne maintains her skills by attending seminars and webinars sponsored by the USPTO and WIPO, including attendance and participation in various pilot programs relating to EFS Web filing, advanced PCT practice and the like.
Laura C. Forrest (Paralegal)
Laura Forrest is an intellectual property paralegal with over 15 years of experience handling all aspects of domestic and international trademark and patent prosecution. At the Belles Group, Laura is responsible for the filing and prosecution of U.S. and foreign trademarks including search, clearance, maintenance, and enforcement. Laura has extensive experience with portfolio management and administration, transfers in international transactions, due diligence and docket maintenance. Her legal experience also includes work in patent and trademark litigation and copyright prosecution.
Prior to joining The Belles Group, Laura has worked in the Intellectual Property groups of several large law firms and IP Boutiques. Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Temple University and a post graduate Paralegal Certificate from the American Institute for Paralegal Studies. Laura maintains her skills by participating in educational seminars held by AIPLA, INTA and WIPO.