Announcement in relation to 18th Annual Oxford IP Moot

On 9 March 2020, the OIPRC made the difficult decision to cancel the oral rounds of the 18th annual Oxford IP Moot, scheduled to take place on 19-21 March 2020. The OIPRC wishes to provide an update in relation to the competition.

The OIPRC is committed to running a moot in March 2021. We have decided that rather than release a new moot problem, the March 2021 oral rounds will relate to our existing moot problem, Hotenhoffer Pharmaceuticals Erewhon and Hotenhoffer Lilliput v Republic of Erewhon [2019] HCE 46. The moot problem is available on this website.

For successful March 2020 teams: We have been in touch with teams that were invited to the March 2020 moot. Those teams were offered the opportunity to participate in the March 2021 oral rounds, under the terms set out in that email. We are delighted to say that many of these teams have indicated that they wish to join us in 2021. We will be seeking final confirmation of attendance in December.

For all other universities: We will be able to issue additional invitations for other teams to compete in March 2021. In order to be considered for a space, teams should follow the usual process of preparing two written submissions (of 3,000 words each) in response to the moot problem. These will be due at 3.00pm on Monday 7 December 2020 (UK time), and invitations issued in mid-January 2021. For the avoidance of doubt:

  • A university that made submissions in December 2019 but which was not invited to the oral rounds, or which was invited but has declined the invitation above, can make a new set of submissions.
  • The usual rules in relation to eligibility apply to all such teams. Any given university may only enter one team.
  • It is permissible for students who were members of an unsuccessful team last year to re-enter, so long as they still meet the eligibility requirements.
  • We will not release further corrections and clarifications to the moot question. Such information was released last year, and is available on this website.
  • All the usual rules in relation to submissions apply, including word length.
  • Please contact the Moot Secretary at well ahead of the due date to request an anonymous identifier.

The format of the moot: At this stage, we are not making a decision as to whether the moot will run fully in person, fully online or a combination of the two. One thing that the last few months has taught us is that events move very quickly. By next spring, the world could look very different – not least if our colleagues at Oxford deliver on a vaccine! But rest assured that we will work with you to come up with a viable format for the competition that ensure the participation of as many teams as possible. We will keep you updated; and a final decision will be made by the new year.

The provisional dates for the March 2021 competition are Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 March, 2021. Should there be a virtual element to the competition, we may look to extend these dates.

If you have any questions about the above, please contact the Moot Secretary.

The 2021 moot concerns Hotenhoffer Pharmaceuticals Erewhon and Hotenhoffer Lilliput v Republic of Erewhon [2019] HCE 46. This year, the moot covers all three of the main IP regimes, with the appeal grounds relating to: (1) the issuing of a compulsory licence in relation to a pharmaceutical patent; (2) an application to cancel of a company's trade mark portfolio on the basis that the marks have become deceptive; and (3) whether the release of documents by the government – being a selection of documents supplied by a corporate whistleblower – is caught by the quotation exception or a general public interest defence to copyright infringement. The moot problem draws from topical matters in IP law, and covers important questions of policy and doctrine.

To keep apprised of announcements and news in relation to the moot (#OxIPMoot), please follow us on Twitter: @OxIPMoot or the Moot website
If you are a university or higher education institution interested in participating in the moot and receiving information about future IP Moots, please subscribe to our maillist by sending a blank email and subject line to  You will be sent a confirmation request and, once you reply to it, a message confirming that you are a subscriber.  Subscribers can unsubscribe at any time by sending a blank email to  
Academics and legal practitioners specialising in intellectual property who would like to volunteer their time to mark and/or judge the moot, can subscribe to our judges maillist by sending a blank email and subject line to   We will inform you through the maillist when we are looking for markers/judges for next year's moot and beyond. You will be sent a confirmation request and, once you reply to it, a message confirming that you are a subscriber.  Subscribers can unsubscribe at any time by sending a blank email to