Butzel Long adds attorneys specializing in Commercial/ Construction Litigation, Patent and Intellectual Property Law


Akin M. Alcitepe, Brian S. Seal and Thomas Southard are based in firm’s Washington, D.C. office

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long is expanding once again with the addition of attorneys Akin M. Alcitepe, Brian S. Seal and Thomas Southard. The attorneys are shareholders based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Alcitepe concentrates his practice on complex commercial and construction litigation matters before international and domestic dispute resolution tribunals such as the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), ICC International Court of Arbitration and the American Arbitration Association, as well as U.S. state and federal courts.

Seal litigates complex cases, including high-stakes patent litigation and business disputes, before federal appellate courts and federal district courts across the country.

Southard focuses on assisting U.S. and international clients, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, in protecting, enforcing and defending intellectual property (IP) rights.

Akin M. Alcitepe

Alcitepe has had litigation successes on all three stages — local, national and international. He regularly handles high-profile, construction litigation matters as well as commercial claims.

He is a native of Turkey and a graduate of Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey. He is known for his meticulous preparation and expert tailoring of his presentations to decision-makers (bench vs. jury trial vs. arbitration).

Alcitepe is admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; United States District Court for the District of Columbia; United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and, the District of Columbia. He’s a member of the American Bar Association and a published author.

He earned a J.D. from George Washington University Law School in 1999 and a B.A. from George Washington University in1994.

Brian S. Seal

Seal’s patent litigation experience encompasses a wide range of technologies and products, with a focus on telecommunications and electronics. He also has extensive experience at the U.S. International Trade Commission, where he recently obtained a favorable decision for a client in a groundbreaking expedited proceeding. He has broad experience in all aspects of litigation, including jury trials, bench trials, and appeals.

Upon graduating from law school, Seal served as a judicial law clerk at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where he drafted bench memoranda and panel opinions in cases involving patents, trademarks, and international trade.

Seal is a member of the American Bar Association, American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Patent, Trademark & Copyright Section, Federal Circuit Committee chair (2005-2006) and Amicus chair (2004-2005). He’s also a member of the Licensing Executive Society (USA & Canada); Amicus Subcommittee co-chair (2015-present).

Seal earned a J.D. from the University of Alabama in 2000. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia in 1997.

Thomas Southard

Southard is a member of Butzel Long’s Business and Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property practice groups. He has successfully litigated and tried, either as lead or co-counsel, patent, trademark, copyright and other commercial disputes in federal district courts throughout the United States, and matters brought before the U.S. International Trade Commission under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.

His clients have included companies and individuals across a broad range of industries, including automotive manufacturers and parts suppliers, laminate flooring producers, pharmaceutical companies, computer chip manufacturers, medical device companies, specialty chemicals manufacturers, research institutions, health care organizations, nonprofits, beverage importers and distillers, consumer product and information technology companies, and publishers and entertainers.

On the transactional side, Southard counsels on matters involving patent, trademark and copyright licenses, assignments and security agreements; invention assignment agreements; nondisclosure and noncompete agreements; IP audits; asset purchase agreements; domain name transfers; conveyances of IP in bankruptcy; and joint venture agreements. With respect to brand protection, he has developed comprehensive trademark enforcement programs, managed worldwide trademark portfolios, counseled on customs and import issues, and created and helped implement IP guidelines and policies for various types of entities.

Southard has published articles and presented on issues concerning U.S. patent reform; patent trolls in the banking industry; willful patent infringement; the Domestic Industry requirement in Section 337 investigations; trademark infringement, including in social media; and amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and recovery of attorney’s fees in federal civil cases.

Southard earned a J.D. from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in 2000. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Syracuse University in 1996.

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