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Penn Law students Francesco De Prospero L’14 and Gina Russoniello L’15 are national finalists in IP lawyering competition

November 11, 2013

A team of two Penn Law students were national finalists in the title round of the third annual Intellectual Property LawMeet, which took place on Friday.

Francesco De Prospero L’14 and Gina Russoniello L’15 advanced to Friday’s national championship round, after besting William and Mary in the semi-finals earlier in the week to become Eastern Regional champions.

A team of second-year students, Brian Springer L’15 and Brooke Schachner L’15, also performed well in the tournament against tough competition.

“These students deserve huge congratulations,” said Cynthia Dahl, Practice Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic, who coaches the Penn Law IP team. “All performed excellently. They worked extremely hard over the last few weeks, and I would absolutely want any one of them negotiating my company’s deals!” 

This is the second year in a row that a Penn Law team has advanced to the competition’s final round. Last year the team of Lauren Saltiel L’14 and Christina Wong L’14 won the national title.

This year’s national title was shared by the University of California Berkeley School of Law and the American University Washington College of Law. Students from Santa Clara University School of Law were also national finalists, competing in the final round.

The 2013 Meet, which attracted 24 teams from across the country, is the premier lawyering competition for students contemplating a transactional practice focused on Intellectual Property.

The Meet provides participants with a simulation of transactional IP practice and involves three distinct phases. First, students work in teams to draft a transactional agreement in which IP rights constitute a key element. Second, each team completes a mark-up of one of the opposing team’s drafts. Finally, opposing teams negotiate the contours of the deal.

Each team represents one of two parties to a proposed transaction involving the transfer of IP. This year’s simulation involved negotiating a joint development agreement between Stratatus Inc., a manufacturing company of additive manufacturing, and ElectroMetal Industries, Inc., a company that holds the patent for a process called “Flui-oxide.”

A panel of experts from private practice evaluated each team’s success in achieving the goals of the parties to the transaction. The winning teams adeptly combined its lawyering skills, drafting, and negotiating techniques with their knowledge of contract, corporate and IP law. Teams were also evaluated for their business acumen and ability to structure innovative and creative solutions for modern IP problems within the transactional setting.