Dean Fanelli

Partner at
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

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Admitted Jurisdictions

District of Columbia, New York

Practice Areas


Dean L. Fanelli, Ph.D. is a partner in the Intellectual Property Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Washington D.C. office. Dr. Fanelli’s practice focuses on the chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries and his expertise lies in patent portfolio creation and management, counseling, technology transactions, due diligence, opinion work, including drafting novelty, freedom-to-operate, and invalidity opinions, and inter partes review and post grant review proceedings.

Dr. Fanelli’s focus is on pharmaceutical and chemical related technologies including those in the fields of new chemical entities, pharmaceutical formulations, polymers, diagnostics, and medical devices. Dr. Fanelli also has significant experience with the interplay between patent and FDA laws under the Hatch-Waxman Act, and he regularly handles IP issues attendant to mergers, acquisitions, and financing for life sciences companies as well as ANDA analyses and associated Hatch-Waxman Paragraph IV litigation.

Previously, Dr. Fanelli was a Founding Partner and Chair of Fanelli Haag PLLC. Fanelli Haag joined Seyfarth Shaw LLP in October 2016. Fanelli Haag was a leading intellectual property boutique law firm focused on issues facing the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. In 2015, Corporate Counsel ranked Fanelli Haag as a “Most-Favored IP Boutique — One of the Best Firms in IP,” according to a report from BTI Consulting Group. CorporateINTL Magazine named Fanelli Haag “2016 Biotech Patent Law Firm of the Year” in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Fanelli Haag was named ACQ Global Legal Awards' 2016 “Game Changer of the Year” in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Fanelli has firsthand experience in translating technologies into a successful commercial ventures. While at Fanelli Haag, Dr. Fanelli was a co-founder of PhosImmune, Inc., an immuno-oncology neoantigen discovery startup company co-founded and built by Fanelli Haag and ultimately acquired by Agenus, Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN) in December 2015. In addition, Dr. Fanelli has developed various patent portfolios for commercially relevant products including those directed to: Dificid® (fidaxomicin), which is currently marketed for the treatment of infections related to C. difficile, and Nexterone® (amiodarone HCl), marketed for the treatment and prophylaxis of ventricular fibrillation. 

Prior to founding Fanelli Haag, Dr. Fanelli was in private practice in the Washington D.C. offices of two international law firms, where his work focused primarily on patent prosecution and counseling of clients in the pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic and nutritional industries. Dr. Fanelli also has expertise with medical products, chemical compounds, polymer compositions, food additives and cosmetic compositions. 

Dr. Fanelli gained additional experience in strategic patent management and licensing while working in-house with an international pharmaceutical drug-delivery company and while working in-house with a major consumer product company.

Dr. Fanelli actively participates in the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), American Bar Association and American Chemical Society. He is also a member of AIPLA‘s Intellectual Property Practice in Japan Committee. Dr. Fanelli’s articles have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and he has given presentations and published articles on various topics related to intellectual property.


  • J.D., The George Washington University Law School
  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Temple University
  • B.S., Chemistry, Villanova University


  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Registered Patent Attorney, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


  • United States Supreme Court

Practice Areas

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • District of Columbia
  • New York

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