North Carolina Central University School of Law has advanced to the National Finals of the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition after winning the South Regional Competition in Atlanta, Ga. on Feb. 11.
The South Regional is a high-level competition judged by members of the Georgia Court of Appeals, Supreme Court, and respected members of the trademark bar. The NCCU Law team, consisting of Kyle Brazile 3LE, Elise Bouchard 4LE, and Brice Bratcher 4LE, won “best brief” as well as “first overall” in the competition. The team will now move on to the National Championship on March 17, which will be held at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, the nation’s highest intellectual property specialty court.
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: Duke, Emory, Georgia State, Mercer, Charleston, and the Universities of Louisville, Tennessee, and Houston.
NCCU Law has fielded teams to the competition since 1995, also winning the regional competition in 2000. The NCCU team is coached by Assistant Dean Adrienne Meddock. A second team, consisting of Robyn Hicks 2L and Phil Weinstein 2LE, competed and represented the school well.
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.