SCHWARTZ--Herbert F., 78. The lawyers and staff of the law firm of Ropes & Gray (successor by merger in 2005 to the firm of Fish & Neave) mourn the passing of Herbert F. Schwartz. Herb was one of the leading intellectual property trial lawyers of his generation, a trailblazer in the development of intellectual property law, and a mentor and colleague to hundreds of lawyers and law students who learned from him. After receiving his degree in electrical engineering from MIT in 1957, he received an M.A. in business and an L.L.B. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1964, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He was a partner from 1971 until his retirement in 2007, and served as managing partner of Fish & Neave from 1985 until 1991. Herb served as lead trial counsel in many cases for such prominent companies as Polaroid, Purdue Pharma, AstraZeneca, Digital Equipment and Motorola, among many others. His landmark victory for Polaroid against Eastman Kodak preserved Polaroid's exclusive position in instant photography. He was recognized for his courtroom excellence by being elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In addition to his litigation accomplishments, Herb worked outside the courtroom to advance the law, having served as a professor at both Penn and NYU law schools and as a 25-year member of the American Law Institute. He was the principal author of Patent Law and Practice, an oft-cited treatise originally prepared for use by federal judges. Herb also was a renowned sailor, having won many major regattas, such as the Swan American trophy, the New York Yacht Club Sesquicentennial and the Marblehead to Halifax race, and having won his class in the 2000 Newport to Bermuda race. He was a member of the New York Yacht Club, Riverside Yacht Club, the Cruising Club of America, the Greenwich Cove Racing Association, and was a trustee at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Herb is survived by his wife Nan Chequer, his children Wendy, Karen, and Peter, his stepchildren Elizabeth, Anne and Laura, and eight grandchildren. The family will host a celebration of Herb's life at noon on August 24 at Riverside Yacht Club and welcomes gifts in Herb's honor to support a crew shell for the MIT men's heavyweight crew program (donations payable to MIT, mailed to Bonny Kellerman, Director of Memorial Gifts, 600 Memorial Drive, W98-500, Cambridge, MA 02139).
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Published in The New York Times on July 20, 2014