The price of being a celebrity and the right to personal image were the subject of debate at the third annual International Intellectual Property (IP) Moot, held this year at Oriel College between 8 and 10 April 2005. Hosted by the Intellectual Property Institute (IPI) and the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre (OIPRC) at St Peter’s College, the event brought together students from universities across the UK, Eire and even Brazil, with teams from the University of Rio Grande and Sao Paulo University. Over the weekend, the teams honed their advocacy skills before experienced IP practitioners acting as judges, and for the final moot before a panel of three judges from the Court of Appeal and Patents Court. The two days also provided an opportunity for those considering a career at the bar or general law practice to mix with both senior and junior barristers, solicitors and patent agents.

Following an initial round of written submissions, judged by a team from Bird & Bird, twenty teams of two mooters each were invited to the oral stage of the competition in Oxford. The range of experience of the competitors varied widely: there were law graduates, those completing the CPE, and even one plucky team of first year undergraduates with only two terms of legal study. All were well prepared, with substantial bundles of precedents presented to the bench in each round. Questions from the bench were fielded well, as mooters handled difficult points of law with considerable skill.

The final, as in past years, proved to be nail-biting to the end. Held in Oriel College’s Harris Lecture Theatre, Lord Justices Mummery and Jacob and Mr Justice Pumfrey listened to mooters from the Universities of Sheffield and Birmingham argue it out, with Birmingham winning by a narrow margin.

Now in its third year, the IP Moot at Oxford is well established as a highly competitive event on both the Mooting and Intellectual Property calendars. It enables mooters from a wide range of backgrounds and experience to test themselves and inspires students everywhere to pursue studies in Intellectual Property law.

Credit should be given to the Organising Committee (Tetyana Nesterchuk, Sophie Palmer, Nicola Pierce, Felicity Prior and Leythem Wall); the Administrator of OIPRC, Gillian Brook; the many sponsoring law firms, patent agent offices, barristers’ chambers and organisations; and the publishers,chambers and authors who donated their books as prizes. A special mention goes to Oriel College, the IPI, the Intellectual Property Lawyers’ Organisation, and of course Mummery LJ, Jacob LJ and Pumfrey J.

Sophie Palmer
Keble College