This year, Robson Hall made its first appearance at the Harold G. Fox Moot, an appellate moot court competition in the area of intellectual property law, which took place on February 21-22, 2014 at the Federal Court building in downtown Toronto. The team was made up of third year law students Peter Anandranistakis, Jared Enns, Lalitha Ramachandran and Hillson Tse. John Myers of Taylor McCaffrey LLP and Michael Jason of Richardson International Limited coached the team. They are lawyers who practice and have taught in the area of intellectual property law. Also invaluable to the students’ preparation were the many members of the province’s small but thriving IP bar who served a practice judges. Financial support was provided by Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP, who funded the travel, and by the moot’s sponsor, Toronto IP firm, Dimock Stratton LLP, who covered the registration costs.
The Fox Moot is an intellectual property moot, and this year’s problem was a complex (and pun-filled) patent problem. The problem grappled with very current and pressing issues in patent law: the patentability of a diagnostic method, the scope of the prohibition against patenting scientific principles, and the patentee’s obligation to properly and sufficiently disclose what they have invented. If reading that last sentence made your head spin, good. It made the mooters’ heads spin for months. Our team sat with Justice Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada during the awards dinner, and it was reassuring to hear him echo a similar sentiment.
The Fox Moot has a unique structure. Each team moots three times in the preliminary round. The three-round structure, although daunting, proved to be very rewarding. After each round, the students received constructive feedback from the panelists. Some of our team’s students mooted back-to-back on Friday (20 minutes between each round), so were able to immediately apply the feedback in the next round.
The students report that being part of Robson Hall’s first Fox Moot team brought with it a sense of pride and accomplishment, and Robson Hall’s participation in the Fox Moot was well received by the jurists and practitioners. The moot’s sponsoring firm hopes to expand the moot’s reach from coast-to-coast and, as one of the organizers stated, this goal cannot be accomplished by “skipping over the middle.” Students and coaches alike sincerely hope that Robson Hall’s participation in the Fox Moot becomes a long-standing tradition.
Photo (L to R): John Myers of Taylor McCaffrey LLP, Hillson Tse, Lalitha Ramachandran, Jared Enns, and Peter Anandranistakis.
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