Arthur Seidel, 89, called a “legend of the Intellectual Property Bar” by Chambers USA, died Aug. 16. He resided at the Quadrangle in Haverford, Pa.
Over a career spanning more than five decades, Seidel founded and led one of Philadelphia’s most respected intellectual property boutique law firms, wrote several books on patent and trademark law, and taught and trained many of the intellectual property attorneys practicing in Philadelphia today.
Born in New York City, he graduated from City College of New York. He then obtained his master’s degree in chemistry
at the University of Michigan while working as a hospital orderly at night.
In 1943, he joined a research team at Columbia University working to separate uranium into its component isotopes under the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Harold Urey, and continued his work at Oak Ridge, Tenn.
After the end of the war, Seidel completed coursework for a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Iowa, but decided not to pursue a career in research. He enrolled in law school at George Washington University while working in the patent department of Gulf Oil.
In 1952, he began his own practice in intellectual property law. Leading the firm of Seidel, Gonda, Lavorgna and Monaco, he represented major companies in their patent and trademark disputes.
In 2001, the firm merged with Drinker, Biddle and Reath LLP, where he was of counsel until 2009.
Seidel was one of a small, select number of advisers recruited to develop the American Law Institute’s prestigious Restatement of the Law, Unfair Competition, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law.
From 1973 to 1986, he taught a year-long course on intellectual property law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. He was also an inaugural member of the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, routinely lecturing on various topics.
His longtime contributions to the Pennsylvania Bar Institute led them to establish the Arthur Seidel Distinguished Service Award. In 2009, he was also named the first recipient of the Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award.
Seidel is survived by his wife, Raquel Eliovich; daughter Mary Beth Seidel-Sharp; sons Stephen Seidel and Paul Seidel; and five grandchildren.