Congratulations to the Osgoode mooting team of Jordan Fine, Alicja Puchta and Colin Lyon for achieving the highest rank after the preliminary rounds and making the quarter-finals of the annual Oxford International Intellectual Property Moot. Pictured, from left, are IP Osgoode’s Professor David Vaver, Alicja Puchta, Jordan Fine, Colin Lyon, PhD candidate Aviv Gaon and alumna Jennifer Davidson.
Nearly 60 law schools submitted facta to qualify for the competition. Osgoode was among the top 24 teams invited to participate in oral arguments, held at the oldest university in the English-speaking world: Oxford. Osgoode then placed first among all 24 teams participating in those oral rounds—thus winning the Allen & Overy award—and was one of eight teams to advance to the next round. The finalists – Bucerius Law School of Germany and University of Toronto – argued in front of the Supreme Court of Erehwon. After a heated debate, the panel of three highly esteemed IP experts – The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Floyd, Mr. Justice Sir Birss and Judge Clarke – ruled for Bucerius.
The 2017 moot problem concerns a fictitious case, Whispering Gums Winery v Loddon River Vineyards, between two alcohol manufacturers from a fictitious country named “Erehwon.” The case raises several novel IP issues. Whispering Gums owns a patent on a bottle that enhances the effervescence of sparkling wines and sells a brand of local sparkling wine called “Wizard’s Wizz Erewine” that is contained in their patented bottle. The dispute is over Loddon River’s use of the mark “Erewine” for two of its products, a sweet apple cider and a non-alcoholic elderflower flavoured drink. Whispering Gums is accusing Loddon River of patent infringement and extended passing off of “Erewine,” while Loddon River argues that Whispering Gum’s patent is invalid on the grounds that it contravenes public policy or morality.
Osgoode’s team was mentored by Vaver and Gaon, and coached by leading IP lawyers, Stephen Selznick and Stephen Henderson from Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, and Jennifer Davidson, an Osgoode graduate and articling student at Deeth Williams Wall LLP.
In preparation for the competition, Osgoode’s team presented their arguments in front of several panels of practitioners at Cassels Brock and Deeth Williams Wall, at the Supreme Court of Canada in front of Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, the Federal Court in front of Judge Roger T. Hughes, and at Osgoode in front of Justice Marshall Rothstein.
This report was submitted by Osgoode PhD candidate Aviv Gaon.