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As my career as an Intellectual Property Paralegal progressed and I no
longer worked for Bob, we would often talk on the phone or meet for lunch.
I miss our discussions and my opportunity to bounce ideas and questions off Bob.
I miss Bob. He loved his family, piloting airplanes, carrot cake with cream
cheese icing, the Arts and his work. When Bob died, he was just beginning to surf the net.
With this page, I making sure Bob continues to "surf". When search
engines search for "Podwil" or "mentsh", it is my hope that this
page will come up.
Bob and Judy Podwil,
Written by Marilyn A. Amento
ROBERT CHARLES PODWIL passed away suddenly on May 9, 1996. At the
outset, let me say that Bob Podwil is to me what Yoda was to Luke Skywalker.
I was trained by and worked several years for Bob. He was a great teacher and a mentsh in his personal life and in his law practice.
My passion for intellectual property, my skills in the field and my ethics are
rooted in Bob
Subsequent to his death, Bob made the
USPQ in which "petitioners assert that the death of Robert C. Podwil
prevented petitioners from going forward with their testimony
here to read 49 USPQ2d 1156 (FLUID WATCH v. FLUIDWATCH)
Robert C. Podwil was well known in the Intellectual Property Law community as
an excellent Patent, Trademark and Copyright Attorney and Expert Witness. He
was born on October 22, 1940 in New York City. He received a Bachelor of
Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1961 and
received his law degree from Georgetown University in 1961. Bob was admitted to
the Bars of the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in
1966 and was registered to practice before the United States Patent and
Trademark Office. He served as a Patent Examiner from 1961 through 1965. He
married Judith Perlzweig on June 20, 1964. Bob also served as an Associate from
1965 through 1971 at the Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Firm of Seidel,
Gonda & Goldhammer (subsequently, Seidel, Gonda, Lavorgna & Monaco and
now merged into Drinker, Biddle & Reath). In 1971, Bob
joined Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen. There he was the firm's only Intellectual
Property partner until his departure to the firm of Reed Smith Shaw & McClay in
Philadelphia in April 1990, where Bob was also an Intellectual Property partner
until he died. His professional affiliations included the PIPLA, the AIPLA, the ABA
Sections on Intellectual Property and Litigation. He was also a pilot and a
member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He began teaching Patent,
Trademark, and Copyright Law to students of Temple University School of Law in
1987 and until his untimely death.
In his career, Bob Podwil prosecuted at least 80
U.S. Patents, filed at least 271 U.S. Trademark applications (the last one
filed on the day he died)
I came to know Bob in May 1988 when, when between careers, I was placed as
his "temporary" secretary at Wolf, Block. Up until that day, I had never heard of
a patent or a trademark. Little did I know that Bob was going to inspire me, put
on his teacher hat, and teach me all about the ins and outs of patents,
trademarks and copyrights. Soon, I was promoted to Bob's Paralegal and Patent
and Trademark Administrator. When Bob changed firms and moved to Reed Smith, I was honored
when Bob took me along with him. Bob loved seeing new inventions, writing
patent applications, studying drawings, studying the gadgets that clients would
send to him. He would sit in his office and turn them every-which-way so that he could thoroughly
understand how an invention worked. He taught me a new language (one unique
to patent attorneys) and shared his love for his work with me.
Robert Podwil was a man of ethics. He demonstrated honesty is all aspects of his
practice, often referring to various handbooks so that he always did the right
thing. Bob cautioned intellectual property paralegals at a seminar the Philadelphia
Association of Paralegal Education conference 1995 to always double-check
laws, rules, etc. and not to commit them to memory. Such rules change so often.
Bob respected me as a paralegal, and taught me the importance of portraying
myself as a professional paralegal and not as an attorney.
At a memorial brunch sponsored by Temple University School of Law in Fall 1997, Len Bernstein, Esquire said, "There's one word to describe Bob Podwil." Before Mr.
Bernstein could say the word, Bob's father-in-law, Mr. Perlzweig, with whom my
husband and I and Attorney Gerry Elman had the honor to share a table, said
"mentch". Bob Podwil was not perfect, as none of us are, but he was a kinder
and gentler man than most people I know. Bob always apologized on those rare
occasions when he lost his temper and was very courteous to all people,
regardless of their job title or status.
Bob was a dedicated family man. His love for his wife, Judy was always evident.
If Judy was not feeling well, Bob's concern was evident. He often spoke with love
and pride for his sons, Jonathan and Daniel. About 2 weeks before Bob's death, I
was visiting with him, discussing my plans for I.P. Paralegal Services®. It was hard
for him to contain his excitement when he told me that he would soon be a
grandfather. His granddaughter was born in August 1996, 3 months after Bob's
death. She was named Ingrid Chaya (meaning "beautiful life") after Bob whose
middle name was "Chaim" (Charles). The Circle of Life: One life ends and another
A Note from Temple
University James E. Beasley School of Law: Established by the partners of the law firm of
Reed Smith Shaw & McClay, the award honors Robert C. Podwil, a late partner of
the firm and a distinguished member of the adjunct faculty at Temple Law
School. It is awarded annually to a graduate who demonstrates excellent
academic performance in the area of Intellectual Property. Pledges
may be made through the web (Designation: The Robert C. Podwil Memorial
Prize) or by sending contributions to The Podwil Memorial Prize at Temple
University James E. Beasley School of Law, 1719 N. Broad
Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122 or Checks should be made payable to Temple
University James E. Beasley School of Law.
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