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Osgoode takes home IP moot prize

|Written By Sangeetha Punniyamoorthy and Tom Kurys
Osgoode takes home IP moot prize
Osgoode Hall Law School’s winning team Kim Lawton and Devin Doyle with Lord Justice Robin Jacob.

A duo from Osgoode Hall Law School took the prize for top moot team at the third annual Harold G. Fox Moot.

This year’s moot problem dealt with the common law tort of passing off and the issue of functionality in the context of a feud between competing high-end chef’s knife companies. The appellant, Alpha Inc., was the manufacturer of a chef’s knife adorned with an orange knob in the shape of a fist. Alpha sought to enjoin the respondent, Omega Inc., from selling a knife with an orange knob in the shape of a foot.

Teams from eight Canadian law schools competed for the Harold G. Fox Cup: Queen’s University, Osgoode Hall, University of Alberta, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, University of Victoria, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Windsor. The event took place Feb. 18 and 19 at the Federal Court in downtown Toronto. Named in honour of the late Harold G. Fox, the moot brings together law students from across Canada and the intellectual property community to discuss and debate issues central to IP law.

The competition kicked off with the second annual Fox IP lecture, delivered this year by Lord Justice Robin Jacob of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. Jacob discussed “The common law of IP” and pondered whether it was time to bury the American Cyanamid test for an interlocutory injunction. The Fox lecture will be published in the Intellectual Property Journal edited by Osgoode Hall professors David Vaver and Giuseppina D’Agostino.

The first of two rounds of preliminary competition was underway shortly after Jacob’s lecture. Once again, the moot featured a wide range of panellists from both the federal and provincial judiciary as well as senior members of the IP bar. After getting their feet wet in the first preliminary round, the competitors enjoyed a reception with members of the judiciary, academia, and the IP bar.

The second round of preliminaries began bright and early on Saturday morning, and the semifinalists were announced shortly after lunch. The semifinals on Saturday afternoon featured teams from Osgoode Hall, Queen’s University, the University of Ottawa, and the University of Toronto. In the end, the two Toronto schools moved on to the finals.

The final panel this year was made up of Jacob, Justice J. Edgar Sexton of the Federal Court of Appeal, Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Kathryn N. Feldman, Justice Jacques A. Léger of the Quebec Court of Appeal, and Federal Court Justice Roger T. Hughes.

At the awards dinner on Saturday night at the University Club, Jacob presented Devin Doyle and Kim Lawton of Osgoode Hall with the Harold G. Fox Cup as the best moot team. The Gordon F. Henderson Award for the best factum was awarded to Susanne Coles and Edwin Mok of the University of Ottawa. Kayla Kwinter of Queen’s was awarded the Don F. Sim Award for best oralist.

Vanessa Park-Thompson of the University of Toronto was the recipient of the inaugural Dimock Stratton LLP Award, which was given to the best mooter in a non-graduating year. The winner of this new award, along with a teammate, is invited to represent their law school in the 2012 Oxford International IP Moot in Oxford, England. The winner and teammate’s accommodation and transportation are arranged and paid for by Dimock Stratton.

This year’s Fox Moot was a success due to all the participants, panellists, and the many sponsors, and the organizers look forward to another successful moot next year. For more information, including a full list of winners, panellists, and sponsors please visit the Fox Moot web site.

Sangeetha Punniyamoorthy and Tom Kurys are lawyers at Dimock Stratton LLP.