North Carolina Central University School of Law was awarded second place for Brief Writing at the national championship of the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition. The competition is the premier trademark law competition for law students and is judged by members of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and respected members of the trademark bar. Arguments were held at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation’s highest intellectual property law specialty court, in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 2012.
The NCCU team of Kyle Brazile 3LE, Elise Bouchard 4LE, and Brice Bratcher 4LE won Best Brief as well as first overall in the regional competition in February and second place for Brief Writing overall in the nation.
The problem for the competition was especially complex this year as it involved dueling political organizations who claimed similar trademarks. Questions of First Amendment protection versus trademark rights are uncharted and made for lively discussion between the competition judges and the contestants. Other competing schools included the law schools of the Universities of New Hampshire, Virginia, California-Davis, Iowa, and Illinois, Emory, and Santa Clara.
NCCU has fielded teams to the competition since 1995, also winning the South region in 2000. The NCCU team was coached by Assistant Dean Adrienne Meddock.
The competition is sponsored by the International Trademark Association (INTA) in honor of a distinguished trademark law practitioner, Saul Lefkowitz. INTA membership includes 5,900 trademark owners, professionals and academics from more than 190 countries and is the foremost legal, business, and educational organization promoting brand education and protection in the world. The competition is an excellent networking tool for students to meet jurists and practitioners interested in intellectual property law.