On Thursday, July 28, INTA’s summer interns benefited from the unique opportunity to travel to the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York to observe a preliminary injunction hearing in a trademark case. After spending the past six weeks learning about trademark law, it was a rewarding experience for me, as one of those interns, to finally see the law applied to a current case. Witnessing INTA members excelling at their profession gave further clarity to the work and effort that we see displayed at the Association by both employees and members on a daily basis.
We arrived early in the morning, before the summer heat could take its toll, and were directed to a courtroom with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Also, since some interns are considering attending law school, the trip allowed them to have a firsthand look at how trademark law is practiced. We jokingly compared our court visit to the joy of an elementary school field trip, an analogy that proved to be surprisingly accurate.
In the courtroom, we saw two talented lawyers face off against each other: Mr. Kevin Fee of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP represented the plaintiffs, Citigroup, while Ms. Dale Cendali of Kirkland & Ellis LLP represented the defendants, AT&T. Both sides held our attention as they seamlessly moved between legal precedent, allusions to depositions, and verbal quips. The presiding judge, Judge Forrest, skillfully guided the conversation while also incorporating her dry wit into the proceedings. After hearing this exciting and closely fought court battle, we were excited to learn that a decision will most likely be rendered in August!
Once the court finished, we had a chance to speak briefly with Ms. Cendali, who, after thanking us for observing the court proceedings, gave us directions to Chinatown and encouraged us to take advantage of the opportunity to find food that was good and—most important for college students—cheap. We stumbled across a tucked-away dim-sum eatery, where we were able to break out of our normal lunch routine of cheap sushi, Chipotle, and salads.
While we may not know for quite some time all the benefits that will ensue from our experience, we all appreciated the opportunity to attend a trademark hearing, and we very appreciative of the invitation. Since our internship is coming to a close, we also want to thank all the wonderful INTA employees and INTA members with whom we’ve worked. While we had the opportunity to see only a small snapshot of INTA’s work and vision during our time in the NY office, we look forward to watching INTA grow and evolve as we continue our academic and professional careers.