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University of Hawaii Wins 2012-2013 Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition

Friday, March 29, 2013

The International Trademark Association (INTA) has announced the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law as the winner of its 22nd Annual Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition, following the National Finals at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. on March 16.

Eighty-seven teams from law schools around the country participated in the competition, in which law students argue a fictional trademark litigation case before a panel of distinguished trademark practitioners. This year’s case Blue Fin Surf Sports, Inc. v. Skyuler Finn Enterprises, LLC, involved the likelihood of confusion and a priority dispute between the BLUE FIN BY LULU mark as used with surfboards and the SKUYLER FINN BLU mark as used with snowboards.

Following regional competitions in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and New York City, eight teams (two from each region) competed in the National Finals, including: Brooklyn Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, Georgia State University College of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, University of Alabama School of Law, University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Iowa College of Law and the University of Washington School of Law.

The finalists made their arguments before a panel of judges and interlocutory attorneys from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

“The fact that we have TTAB judges and interlocutory attorneys at the National Finals makes this a unique and high-caliber competition, which gives students valuable insight into trademark law and practice. It is a wonderful stepping stone for their careers,” said Katherine Basile, Partner at Novak Druce Connolly Bove & Quigg LLP and Chair of INTA’s Lefkowitz Competition Committee.

First time national competitors Shirley Lou, Andrea S. Maglasang, Avery C. Matro and Nikki Yamauchi from the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law took first place, as well as Best Oralist team and went home with $4,000 in prize money.

The winners of the 2013 National Finals are:

  • Winning Team – University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law
  • Second Place Team – University of Iowa College of Law
  • Third Place Team – Brooklyn Law School
  • Dolores K. Hanna Best Brief – University of Iowa College of Law
  • Second Place Brief – Brooklyn Law School
  • Best Oralist Team – University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law
  • Second Place Oralist Team – University of Iowa College of Law

The competition, organized by INTA volunteers, is named in honor of the late Saul Lefkowitz, who served on the TTAB of the USPTO for over 30 years. He is remembered as a dedicated mentor to young practitioners, fostering their understanding of trademark law and practice during his time at Finnegan Henderson in Washington, D.C.

“The Lefkowitz competition plays a significant role in shaping the next generation of trademark professionals; based on the skills and passion we have seen throughout the competition, our industry’s future looks very bright,” said Chris Foley, the National Finals Coordinator, and Partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP.

Next year’s Lefkowitz competition will begin in February 2014 and will introduce a new fifth regional competition in Dallas, Texas.

About INTA

Founded in 1878, the International Trademark Association (INTA) is a worldwide association of member companies and firms that support the advancement of trademarks and intellectual property as elements of fair and effective global commerce. Members include more than 6,200 trademark owners, legal professionals and academics from more than 190 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark research, policy development, education and training, and international network. Headquartered in New York City, INTA also has offices in Shanghai, Brussels and Washington, D.C., and representatives in Geneva and Mumbai.

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