Oxford International Intellectual Property Moot 2013
The annual Oxford International Intellectual Property Moot was held at the Faculty of Law and Pembroke College from 14 to 16 March 2013. Teams enjoyed a busy three days, with not only the moot competition itself, but a variety of related events, including the IP Conversazione and Grand Final Dinner.
The 2013 problem related to an attempt by a pharmaceutical manufacturer to rely on trade mark rights to continue intellectual property protection to a pharmaceutical whose patent had recently expired. Teams were invited to compete at the oral proceedings in Oxford on the basis of written submissions submitted in December 2012. Marking of the submissions was conducted by Lorna Brazell and her team at Bird & Bird LLP. The highest score for the submissions (and the winner of the Best Written Submissions award) was the University of Cambridge.
Following short-listing, twenty teams from Australia, Canada, China, India, Germany, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom competed in Oxford. In a change from previous years, teams competed in four preliminary rounds (up from two). The eight highest-ranked teams progressed to the quarter-finals, with Queensland University of Technology placing first after the preliminary rounds. QUT team member Lucy Munt also won the Sir Nicholas Pumfrey Best Individual Mooter award for her performance in the rounds.
Following a busy day of finals mooting, the grand finalists, University of Ottawa and National Law University, Delhi, competed at Pembroke College in front of a panel comprised of Lord Justice Mummery, Mr Justice Floyd and Judge Birss QC. The final was won by the University of Ottawa. A new prize based on the vote of competing teams – the Professor David Vaver Spirit of the Moot Award – was won by the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, and presented by Professor Vaver.
The Organising Committee would like to thank all those involved in making the moot a success, including the judges of the written and oral aspects of the competition, the moots sponsors (Powell Gilbert, 8 New Square, Oxford University Press and Hart Publishing), His Honour Michael Fysh QC SC, Professor Timothy Endicott, Huw Edmunds and his team from Pembroke College, and Ellen Moilanen and Jenny Hassan from the Faculty of Law.
The fifth annual Oxford IP Conversazione brought together five diverse speakers to consider the enigmatic topic 'IP: Forms and Functions' before an audience of approximately one hundred mooters, observers, judges, and guests. After the compères Professor Graeme Dinwoodie of the OIPRC and Dr Barbara Lauriat of King's College London set out the background and purpose of the event and introduced the panel, Dr Dev Gangjee of the London School of Economics gave the first informative presentation on overlapping intellectual property rights, in particular, those relating to shape marks in trade mark law. John Noble of the British Brands Group followed with a compelling talk on the importance of brands in society. Dr Kirstin Kennedy, Curator of Renaissance and Baroque Silver at the Victoria and Albert Museum, offered a fascinating historical survey, reminding the audience that religious, cultural, and social influences may play a role in the appearance of even everyday objects like tea pots--functionality and attractiveness are not the only factors to consider. Dr Jon Sutch of pharmaceutical manufacturing and development company Patheon provided an entertaining answer to the highly-relevant question: 'Why does my tablet look like that?' Finally, Alastair Wilson QC presented a provocative case for abolishing registered design right in the UK. After the presentations, the conversations began over drinks before heading to the Pembroke College Hall, where the guests were randomly assigned to tables of six to formulate questions to ask the speakers between courses. Thanks to all of the speakers, participants and Pembroke College staff who made the event possible.