At the start of January, our IP mooting team got the exciting news that they were among the 24 best teams internationally and had qualified for the oral proceedings in Oxford. This was especially exciting since this year no other continental European team was invited.
After countless preparatory sessions discussing the alleged patent infringement of the so-called ‘789’ bottle of “Wizzards Wizz Erewine” and the issue of whether the Respondent wrongfully ‘passed off’ their elderflower product as ‘Erewine’, the team was looking forward to mooting in Oxford and ready to give it their best. Still, no one expected the vine of successes that lay ahead. Fingers were crossed to win a few rounds, and perhaps even proceed to the quarter-finals. However, they were certainly not expecting to make it to the semi-finals, or grand-finals. In the end, the unbelievable happened. The Bucerius Law School team won the 15th Oxford International Intellectual Property Moot 2017!
The question now being asked is what goes into the making of such a remarkable vintage of mooters?
First of all, it took an extraordinary amount of dedication. Katharina Watzke, Jakob Rehder and Felix Tann – in addition to their regular studies – spent months preparing not only the written submissions, but then also on oral training. Even in Oxford, during the competition, they were willing to amend their arguments, add new elements and sometimes change them entirely, somehow managing to include all the coach’s feedback in their final submissions.
All of this would be impossible without the instrumental assistance of Fabian Flüchter, now a research assistant at the Bucerius IP Center. He was part of our first IP moot team three years ago, then returned as a student coach last year, and was now coaching again. He capitalised on both his experience and his extensive expertise in intellectual property law, and was actively involved in harvesting the team’s talents and driving them to achieve their best performances. He also always remained enthusiastic, despite having to listen to similar submissions being repeated more than a hundred times over.
Another of the most important ingredients was the skillful coaching of Monty Silley, the Acting Director of our Foreign Language Department, who tirelessly worked on improving the team’s mooting style and making their messages even more appealing. By simplifying complex legal discourse, preparing enticing answers to potential judicial questions, and helping devise captivating analogies, he perfectly distilled the team’s legal argumentation skills. He was also the one who remained calm and collected during even the most stressful of times.
From the coach’s perspective, Fabian Flüchter was thrilled to see the team form, develop, and finally, during the competition, exceed all expectations. Monty Silley was equally delighted to see the students he taught from his mooting classes in first-year now excel on the international stage of appellate advocacy. Finally, from the mooter’s perspective, it was great to feel the support of Fabian, Monty, and also Karsten Windler, Executive Director of the Bucerius IP Center, who were willing to assist with any matter at any time.
Finally, the team’s attitude of just having fun and enjoying the experience at Oxford was exactly right. Mixing in the necessary extra bit of luck made this vintage truly magnificent.
To summarise, when combining the three distinct grapes from Katharina, Jakob, and Felix, this year’s Bucerius IP Mooting Team can be described with the following tasting notes: They have a polished, powerful body and elegant style. Their mooting is mostly firm, yet smooth, with some intensity, and even a hint of spice at times, but always leaving a very pleasant finish that lingers on the palate. All three varieties are complex, very bright but also well-rounded. In summary, the 2017 year deserves a full 100 points since these mooters deliver an unbeatable flavour in each sip!