St Catherine’s College on Saturday 20th March saw the conclusion of the Oxford IP Research Centre (OIPRC)’s eighth annual mooting competition, hosted for the first time by its new Director, Professor Graeme Dinwoodie.   Lord Justice Mummery, Mr Justice Floyd, and Mr Michael Hicks, kindly standing in for Lord Justice Jacob, judged an exciting and well-attended grand final, in which BostonUniversity triumphed in a close competition against last year's winners Queensland University of Technology.

This year’s moot problem, drafted by the Faculty’s Dr Justine Pila, concerned issues around copyright subsistence and infringement relating to a ‘cellist’s compositions and performances.  A “scurrilous” article in response provoked arguments before their Lordships about the boundaries of fair use, and the composer’s moral rights. The IP Code of the moot’s chosen jurisdiction, Erewhon, invites reference to “general principles” of the relevant areas of law “as manifested by any treaty…and any legislation…[or] jurisprudence…of other jurisdictions”.  Accordingly, a rich variety of authority was offered in support of the arguments advanced by mooters from all twenty teams, representing universities from eleven countries.  A team of the UK’s most experienced academics and practitioners in the IP field judged the rounds leading up to Saturday’s grand final.  Many of these were long-time friends of the moot, participating since its inception; all seemed to be agreed that the 2010 competition provided the highest standard of mooting that they had seen yet.

There are many people to be thanked for their part in the weekend, not least the staff at St Catherine’s who made for a very smooth event and several happy and well-fed mooters.  The event is a major part of the UK’s IP calendar, and is a wonderful focus for the many friends of the OIPRC.  Plans are already afoot for next year’s moot, and an accompanying Conversazione.  Details will be uploaded to as they are finalised.

The judges and finalists

Dr Stuart Baran

IP Moot Chairman