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April 1, 2017 Vol. 72 No. 6 Back to Bulletin Main Page

Saul Lefkowitz Competition Celebrates 26th National Finals Winners in Washington, D.C.


INTA’s Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition concluded another successful year at the National Finals on March 18, 2017, at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

Nationwide, 71 teams from 55 law schools participated in this year’s competition, and the following ten teams advanced to the National Finals:

East Region
George Washington University Law School
University of Maine School of Law

Midwest Region

Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Southeast Region
George Mason University School of Law
University of North Carolina School of Law

Southwest Region
The University of Oklahoma College of Law (two teams)

West Region
University of San Francisco School of Law
University of California Davis School of Law

Moot Court Fact Pattern
This year’s fact pattern for the competition related to wearable fitness devices having athletic alerts. Midas in Motion sued Victory Fit on the ground that audiovisual alerts on Victory Fit’s wearable fitness devices infringed Midas in Motion’s trademark rights to visual/vibrational alerts on Midas in Motion’s wearable fitness devices. In response, Victory Fit counterclaimed to cancel Midas in Motion’s MIDAS trademark for its devices on the ground it was immoral. Victory Fit’s counterclaim was based on the fact that, in the competition’s fantasy world of Utopia, MIDAS may be considered offensive because it is the name of a controversial past ruler who subjugated Utopians in part by prohibiting exercise.

At the district court, Midas in Motion moved for summary judgment of infringement. Victory Fit cross-moved for summary judgment, arguing that Midas in Motion did not own a protectable trademark (and also seeking cancellation of the MIDAS trademark as immoral). The district court granted Midas in Motion’s motion and denied Victory Fit’s motion in part, ordering that Midas in Motion’s MIDAS trademark be canceled as immoral.

In addition to the “immoral” issue presented, other issues included whether Midas in Motion’s alert operated as a trademark and, if so, whether the alert was functional. Under the assumption that Midas in Motion’s alert was a protectable trademark, another issue was whether Victory Fit’s alert infringed Midas in Motion’s rights.

At the National Finals, the students argued these issues before Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) judges (pictured above), including Chief Judge Gerard Rogers, as well as TTAB interlocutory attorneys, all of whom subjected the student advocates to rigorous questioning.

National Finals Winners and Runners-Up

Ultimately, this year’s National Finals winners and runners-up were:
  • Winning Team: University of San Francisco School of Law (Nguyen La, Daniel Gaitan, Jeffrey Hughes, Liam McNamara) (pictured below right)
  • Second Place Team: University of California Davis School of Law (William Foster, Collin Chandler, Nicolas Sweeney)
  • Dolores K. Hanna Best Brief Award: University of California Davis School of Law (William Foster, Collin Chandler, Nicolas Sweeney)
  • Second Place Brief: The University of Oklahoma College of Law (Stan West, Ngoc (Natalie) Nguyen, Ariane Takano) 
  • Best Oral Argument: University of San Francisco School of Law (Nguyen La, Daniel Gaitan, Jeffrey Hughes, Liam McNamara)
  • Second Place Oral Argument Team: University of Maine School of Law (Morghan Beaudoin, Matthew Altieri)
At the awards ceremony, this year’s chair of the Lefkowitz Committee, Richard S. Stockton (Banner & Witcoff, Ltd., USA), thanked the oral argument judges and other volunteers, and congratulated the students on the completion of another successful competition. This is the 26th year the competition has taken place. Mr. Stockton also introduced the competition and its namesake, Saul Lefkowitz, who was a member of the TTAB from its creation in 1958, and in 1975, became its Chairman.

The organizer of the national finals, Chris Foley (Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, USA), then provided personal commentary and reflections about Saul Lefkowitz and made other thoughtful observations before Mr. Stockton announced the winners. The competition concluded with a vibrantly themed reception and celebration at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, which has long-sponsored the national finals.

For the 2017‒2018 year, Joseph T. Nabor (Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery LLP, USA) will be the Chair of the committee, and Cindy Walden (Fish & Richardson, USA) will be the Vice Chair. Mr. Stockton will become the Immediate Past Chair. Next year, the competition will also welcome a sixth region in Los Angeles, and the committee remains supportive of related efforts to expand INTA trademark-related moot court competitions internationally (beginning with Singapore in February 2018).

Many students involved in the competition go on to careers with INTA member organizations as well as leadership positions in the Association. It is a valuable educational experience for all concerned.

On behalf the Saul Lefkowitz Committee, INTA would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s competition and helped make the event a success:

EAST REGION
Kaydi Osowski, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Lauren Mandell, The Sun Products Corporation, A Henkel Company

Bailiffs
Jenna Spelke, Brooklyn Law School
Elissa Sutherland, New York University
Morgan Mickelsen, Brooklyn Law School
Nicole Zolla, Brooklyn Law School
Amanda Robinson, Baruch College, City University of New York
Taylor Lietz, Brooklyn Law School

Brief Reading Judges
Bethany A. Stokes, Greenberg Traurig
Cynthia Walden, Fish & Richardson
Jack Wessel, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Paul Kochanski, Lerner David
Eric A. Prager, K&L Gates LLP
Laura Winston , Kim Winston LLP
Ira Levy, Goodwin Procter
Bob O’Connell, Fish & Richardson
Conal Berberich, NHL
Anjie Vichayanonda, Kelly IP

Oral Argument Judges
Cathy Lueders, MasterCard
Jessica Rothstein, Goodwin Procter
Steven Gustavson, McCormick & Priore, P.C.
Carrie Webb Olson, Day Pitney
Peter Kirschenbaum, LeClairRyan
Ted Max, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
Dickerson Downing, Law Office of Dickerson M. Downing
Stacey Watson, Markery Law
Lauren Dienes-Middlen, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Charles LeGrand, LEGrand, LLC
Colm Dobbyn, MasterCard
Ira Cohen, Henkel & Cohen, P.A.
Diana Zarick
Nyasha Foy, Vice

SOUTHEAST REGION
Charles Hooker, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Sheila Garber, InterContinental Hotels Group

Bailiffs
Akash Desai, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Jennifer Findley, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Rho Thomas, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Stephen Dew, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Bethany Nelson, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Jennine Rossington, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Brief Reading Judges
Dave Donoghue, Holland & Knight LLP
Katherine Wallace, Alston & Bird LLP
Katie Sullivan, Whirlpool Properties, Inc.
Elizabeth Borland, Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP
Tami Collie, IHG
Matthew W. Howell, Alston & Bird LLP
Becki C. Lee, The Sladkus Law Group
Mary Grace Gallagher, Alston & Bird LLP
Kristin Garris, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Laura Kees, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP
Emily Scheible, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP
Kathryn Hauch, DLA Piper LLP (US)
Sarah LaFantano, Alston & Bird LLP
John M. Guaragna, DLA Piper LLP (US)

Oral Argument Judges
Daniel Englander, Ballard Spahr LLP
Larry Nodine, Ballard Spahr LLP
Bill Needle, JAMS Mediator and Arbitrator
Susan Russell, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Miles Alexander, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Ted Davis, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Sumner Rosenberg, Mercer Thompson LLC
Steve Schaetzel, Meunier Carlin & Curfman LLC
Karissa Blyth, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP
Puja Patel Lea, Troutman Sanders LLP
Mary Grace Gallagher, Alston & Bird LLP
Mira Koplovsky, IMG College
Darren Summerville, The Summerville Firm LLC
Lauren Linder, The Weather Channel

SOUTHWEST REGION
Dyan House, Baker & McKenzie LLP
Valerie Verret, Exxon Mobil Corporation

Coordinating Group
Theo Austin Bruton, Sabre Industries, Inc.
Craig Carpenter, Thompson & Knight LLP
John Cone, Ferguson, Braswell, Fraser & Kubasta, PC
David Diamond, Richard Law Group
Mery Pimentel, Baker McKenzie LLP
Paul Reilly, Baker Botts LLP
Elizabeth Rucki, Baker Botts LLP

Oral Argument Judges
Jason Bloom, Haynes and Boone, LLP
John Cone, Ferguson, Braswell, Fraser & Kubasta, PC
David Diamond, Richard Law Group
Dr. Lekha Gopalakrishnan, Winstead PC
Honorable Susan Hightower, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
Charles Hosch, Strasburger & Price LLP
Megan Hoyt, United States Patent & Trademark Office
Chris Kindel, Pirkey Barber PLLC
Honorable Roy Payne, United States District Court
Paul Reilly, Baker Botts LLP
Sanjiv Sarwate, Dell Inc.
Honorable Richard Schell, United States District Court

Brief Reading Judges
Tara Bhupathi, USPTO
Alexandra Bistline, Pirkey Barber PLLC
Bethany Ford, Baker Botts LLP
Melissa Hurter, Baker Botts LLP
Kimberly Owen, Baker Botts LLP
Molly Richard, Richard Law Group
Abigail Rubinstein, Weiss & Arons LLP
Denis Shamo, Baker McKenzie LLP
Bethany Stokes, Greenberg Traurig
Chris Weimer, Norton Rose Fulbright
Justin Welch, Jack Daniel’s Properties, Inc.
Travis Wimberly, Pirkey Barber PLLC

Bailiffs and Other Volunteers
Tyler Beas, Baker Botts LLP
Darrian Campbell, Baker McKenzie LLP
Ola Campbell, Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, LLP
Paul Elkins, Harris, Finley & Bogle, P.C.
Reshaun Finkley, Townsend & Lockett, LLC
Sophilia Wu, Mullin Law PC
Jake Mace, Dominion Harbor Group, LLC
Verna Morgan, International Trademark Association
Kimberly Owen, Baker Botts LLP
Michelle Peterson, 7-Eleven, Inc.
Mery Pimentel, Baker McKenzie LLP
Jennifer Rather, Exxon Mobil Corporation
Linda Smith, Exxon Mobil Corporation
Lauren Timmons, Littler Mendelson
Kristen Zahnow, Hitchcock Evert LLP

Sponsors
United States Patent and Trademark Office, Texas Regional Office—Awards Ceremony & Reception
Baker Botts LLP—Bailiff Training

WEST REGION 

Ryan Bricker, Esq., Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Calla Yee, Esq., Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Coordinators
Philippa Manley, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Alana Soumas, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Alexandra Wright, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Sal Martinez, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Michael Fortes, Esq., Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Victor Tom, Apple Inc.

Site Leads
Philippa Manley, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Sal Martinez, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Bailiffs
Krystal Farias, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Michael Fortes, Esq., Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Henry Huang, University of San Francisco School of Law
Ryan Kelly, CloudPassage
Meghan Killian, Esq., Kabam Gaming Co.
Meghan Kloeber, University of San Francisco School of Law
Austin Phillips, Esq., Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Lauren Pon, University of San Francisco Law School

Darius Samerotte, Esq., Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Paul Song, University of San Francisco School of Law
Victor Tom, Apple Inc.
Calvin Torres, University of San Francisco Law School
Mary Wallace, University of San Francisco School of Law
Ely Zuno, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Brief Reading Judges
Jeremy Schachter, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Mehrnaz Boroumand Smith, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Ryan Bricker, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Calla Yee, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Tali Alban, Rodan & Filed, LLC
Yumi Nam, Macy’s Inc.
Jack Wessel, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Christopher George, Intel Corporation

Oral Argument Judges
Gary Nelson, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
John Baum, Owen, Wickersham & Erickson, P.C.
Sean Callagy, Arnold & Porter LLP
Marc Gorelnik, Law Offices of Marc M. Gorelnik
Jeff Kobulnick, Ezra Brutzkus Gubner LLP
Mark Steiner, Duane Morris LLP
Katy Basile, Reed Smith LLP
Jason Cody, Apple Inc.
Pete Peterson, Law Offices of Gale R. Peterson PLLC
Yumi Nam, Macy’s Inc.
Alica Del Valle, Airbnb, Inc.
Jack Wessel, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Greg Owen, Owen, Wickersham & Erickson, P.C.
Nikkya Williams, Facebook, Inc.
Christopher George, Intel Corporation
Greg Gilchrist, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Todd Adler, Oracle Corporation
Rosaleen Chou, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
John Donald, Apple Inc.

Kat Johnston, Facebook, Inc.
Scott Harlan, Apple Inc.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2017 International Trademark Association