25 March 2007

International Intellectual Property Moot

I just had time to shower the sweat of the Reading Half Marathon away before rushing into Oxford to attend the final of the International Intellectual Property Moot at Worcester College. An invitation popped into my inbox at work a few days earlier, and it seemed like the sort of event at which one had to be seen. Apart from anything else, the judges for the final were Jacob and Mummery LLJ and Pumphrey J.

I'd read the facts for the moot (www.oiprc.ox.ac.uk), and knew that there were copyright and trade mark aspects to it: I also knew that the dispute was goverened by the rather idiosyncratic laws of Erewhon, a choice of jurisdiction presumably essential for diplomatic reasons given that the mooters had come from all corners of the world (and not just the common law world) to take part. the finalists, however, were very much in the common law tradition: Queensland University of Technology and George Mason University School of Law (Virginia, since you ask).

When I arrived, a little late (despite the invitation insisting the audience be seated by 2.15 for a 2.30 start) and hobbling but at least showered, it was already in full swing. The standard was extremely high - the judges remarked on this, too, so it was not just my impression - but it was the Australians who were the better foils for Sir Robin's jokes - and those of his brother judges - and indeed who produced an authority that they insisted they had not intended to refer to, but felt it necessary given his line of questioning: a judgement of Jacob J, as he then was ...

I didn't note everything down in sufficient detail to blog it, but I expect the web site will carry some detail of the outcome in due course. The Australians won the competition, deservedly so in the opinion of most people I spoke to; I spoke to a few people I hadn't seen for years, and some I'd never seen before, and one I see quite often, and I came home. Oh, and by virtue of a superhuman effort (no reflection on the quality of the moot!) I refrained from falling asleep. Half-Marathons seem to have that effect - it must be age, because it only used to be whole Marathons that knocked me out.

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