Three LLM Students represented Queen Mary University of London at the 12th annual Intellectual Property Moot Competition at Oxford on 20 - 22 March 2014. The Queen Mary team was Filip Kufrin, Michael Laws and Severine Riviere Naidoo.
The IP Moot competition is an annual event held at the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre and is organised by a committee of DPhil and FHS students involved in intellectual property. It engages universities from around the world in the writing of submissions and preparation of oral arguments based on a hypothetical problem in the IP industry.
This year’s focus was Copyright and Moral Rights and the mock case concerned 'issues of the existence of copyright in photographic works, the use of works in an online environment and contractual restrictions to statutory fair dealing defences'.
The teams first participated in the written stage of the competition and 24 selected teams, including QMUL made it to the next stage of oral arguments. At the competition, the team had 35 minutes (divided between two speakers) per hearing to represent the Appellant and Respondent at four hearings in the General Rounds. They were successful as appellants against Queensland University of Technology (quarter finalists) and as respondents against University of British Columbia (quarter finalists) and lost as respondents to University of Toronto (finalists) and as appellants to Tsinghua University.
The Queen Mary team had this to say about their experience of the Oxford IP moot:
Filip Kufrin, IP LLM student:
'I enjoyed the mooting experience because it gave me an insight into the practical side of being an IP lawyer and encouraged me to think outside the box. The fictional case was extremely interesting because it dealt with the current issues of museums' digital libraries and moral rights. What impressed me the most in Oxford was the outstanding quality of the teams which participated.'
Michael Laws, IP LLM student:
The moot was an incredible learning experience. Having to practically apply the abstract and theoretical copyright law we had been learning deepened my understanding of copyright enormously while the training and subsequent competing in oral advocacy greatly refined my court craft and delivery skills. However the moot was so much more than just this: the team work, the opportunity for cross-jurisdictional dialogue and the opportunity to moot in front of and meet established judges and academics was a privilege. I want to thank our coach Metka, my teammates Severine and Filip for the honour it was working with them and the University and other staff members for their support and feedback.
Severine Riviere Naidoo, IP LLM student:
"The Moot was a highly enriching experience- both academically and culturally. I was able to see the law from a practitioner's perspective by putting into context the knowledge acquired from our academics. Further, it was a fabulous team building exercise- while pursuing a challenging course, we had to coordinate our schedules towards the organisation of bundles and materials for our memorandums and submissions. Whilst this clearly pushed us to make the most of our "free time", it was so much fun! I would like to highlight and thank our Professors and lecturers for their support and understanding, this highly contributed to our preparation and motivation to do well. The Moot enabled me to showcase my advocacy skills and meet students from around the world sharing similar interests. I would recommend it to anyone wishing to further explore the law."
Metka Potocnik, PhD in Law, coach of the Queen Mary IP moot team
"Working on this moot project for six months was a rewarding experience. The stellar progress the students have made in their knowledge of copyright law and their advocacy skills was admirable. More than anything however, this international team of students from a variety of jurisdictions worked extremely well together, illustrating how a successful team will always be - more than a sum of its parts."
Article contributed by Lola Agbaje-Williams (IP Law).