News

03/31/2017

Bucerius wins Oxford IP Moot

59 teams sent in written submissions. Of those, only the best 24 were invited to present their arguments at Pembroke College, Oxford. Being the third year in a row for Bucerius Law School to qualify for the oral rounds of the Oxford IP Moot was already a great accomplishment.

Especially for a school from a civil law jurisdiction where the students first language is not English. However, none of this prevented the team from excelling and, in the end, winning what is probably the most prestigious intellectual property law moot in the world!

The distinguished mooters were Katharina Watzke, Felix Tann and Jakob Rehder. Felix Tann also received an award for being one of the five best mooters in the preliminary rounds. The most notable success, however, was returning to Hamburg with the prized Allen & Overy trophy as the overall winning team.

It was not an easy path to victory though. The team lost the very first round to well-polished oratory from University College London. From there, they embarked on a winning streak by refusing to lose any other round. Hence, they progressed past exceptional performances in the preliminaries by the University of Malaya (Malaysia), DePaul University (USA), and Osgoode Hall (Canada), to qualify for the quarter-finals. Then they had to face a very strong Osgoode Hall (the top-ranked team after the preliminary rounds) a second time. In another wonderful round of arguments, now representing opposite sides, Bucerius Law School again triumphed. Next came a victory against the well-prepared home team, the University of Oxford, in the semi-finals. This brought them to the grand-finals and a brilliant round of arguments against the University of Toronto (Canada). The contentious patent infringement and extended passing-off case was finally decided by a panel of three real judges from the English High Court and Court of Appeal, who ultimately handed down a judgement in favour of Bucerius Law School.

The judges throughout the competition complimented the mooters for their impressive arguments. Not only their extensive understanding of the complex rules governing IP law, but also their superior ability to persuasively communicate legal and policy arguments to the court was what ultimately set them apart and solidified their result. On both these fronts, the team was supported by coaching from Fabian Flüchter, Karsten Windler and Monty Silley, who also accompanied the team to Oxford.

It was a remarkable experience, not only winning, but being surrounded by great fellow mooters, leading IP lawyers, scholars and judges. Since the case dealt with a particular type of wine, and the invention of a new bottle that enhanced the effervescence of sparkling wines, the event also drew a gathering of wine experts who shared their industry insights during an enlightening conversazione and over majestic dinners in Hall. The team went to Oxford with the aim of having fun and enjoying their experience. They returned home having achieved this and so much more!

Monty Silley, Acting Director, Foreign Language Communication Programme