Joseph A. DeGrandi, 72, a leading patent lawyer and a longtime senior partner in the District firm of Beveridge, DeGrandi, Weilacher & Young, which merged earlier this year with a law firm in Atlanta, died of cardiac arrest July 17 at his home in McLean.

With the merger in January, Mr. DeGrandi became a senior partner in the Atlanta-based firm of Smith, Gambrell & Russell.

A Washington area resident for 50 years, he became a central figure in patent law associations, participating in diplomatic conferences and meetings on international patent treaty revisions and seeking a better relationship between the Patent and Trademark Office and patent attorneys.

He created an ad hoc committee, made up of representatives of national and state bar associations, which regularly met with government officials to resolve problems relating to the processing of patent and trademark applications. He had chaired the committee for the last 25 years.

He was past president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the Patent Lawyers Club of Washington and past chairman of the patent, trademark and copyright law sections of the American Bar Association and the Bar Association of D.C.

He was a native of Hartford, Conn., and a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford and George Washington University, where he also received a master's degree in biology and a law degree.

In the late 1970s, he served on the President's Advisory Committee on Industrial Innovation, which recommended patent law reforms, and in 1982, he received the George Washington University Law School Distinguished Alumnus Award.

He was a member of St. James Catholic Church in Falls Church, the St. Thomas More Society and the John Carroll Society.

Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Yolanda DeGrandi of McLean; three daughters, Dr. Terese DeGrandi of Atlanta, Lisa DeGrandi of Alexandria and Donna DeGrandi of New York; a sister; and four grandchildren.