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Penn Law students win national championship for patent law moot court

May 11, 2015

On April 17, Penn Law students Greg Manas L’15 and Brian Springer L’15 won the national finals of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Giles Sutherland Rich National Patent Law Moot Court competition.

They defeated a ten-team field in the national championship event, which was held April 15–17 at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. The final round was judged by a panel of Federal Circuit Judges.

The competition is administered each year by the AIPLA, an association of intellectual property lawyers. At Penn Law, entry into the event is the capstone of Professor R. Polk Wagner’s year-long intensive course for advanced students of patent law, Patent Law Appellate Advocacy. This year, in addition to the overall victory by Manas and Springer, Penn Law’s Jake Hartman L’15 and Jenny Liu L’15 made it to the national quarterfinals. 

“We are incredibly proud of how our students performed throughout the competition,” said Professor R. Polk Wagner. “Their success resulted from months of hard work and dedication to the craft of appellate advocacy in this complex field, from strategy sessions to brief writing to oral argument skills. It is a testament to the strength and depth of the intellectual property program at Penn Law that two separate teams of students from the Law School advanced to the national championship round.”

In addition to the victory at the national competition, the Law School’s teams also placed first and second place in the western regionals of the competition in Palo Alto, California in March, where between them they also won best appellant brief, best appellee brief, and best oral argument.

The AIPLA’s annual moot court competition is named in memory of Judge Giles Sutherland Rich, perhaps the twentieth century’s most influential figure in patent law. Rich served for more than 40 years as a Federal Judge, including as a founding member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Throughout his career Rich was known for his tireless efforts to improve the patent system, as well as his dedication to teaching.

A number of programs and centers showcase Penn Law’s strength in intellectual property and patent law.

The Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition, directed by Professor Christopher Yoo, promotes research that aims to shape the way legislators, regulatory authorities, and scholars think about technology policy, intellectual property, privacy, and related fields. Through major scholarly conferences, symposia, faculty workshops, and other activities, CTIC provides a forum for exploring the full range of scholarly perspectives on these issues.

In addition, the Detkin Intellectual Property and Technology Legal Clinic, directed by Professor Cynthia Dahl, provides pro bono transactional patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret services to individuals, non-profit clients, and for-profit clients in technology and the arts.

The clinic also has a unique relationship with the Penn Center for Innovation and taps into the resources of the University of Pennsylvania’s strong network of professional schools, including the Schools of Engineering, Medicine, and Arts and Sciences, as well as the Wharton School.