Inaugural Andean Community Moot Court Competition Successful

Published: December 15, 2021

In a first-of-its-kind event, INTA and the Court of Justice of the Andean Community (Tribunal de Justicia de la Comunidad Andina (TJCA)) concluded their inaugural moot court competition for law school students on December 2. Students from Universidad del Rosario de Colombia; Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia; and Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos del Perú were named the winners in the competition’s four categories.

The Andean Community Moot Court Competition marked the two organizations’ first moot court competition in the Andean Community, and INTA’s first competition conducted in Spanish. It introduces law school students to important issues in trademark and unfair competition law in the region and enables them to hone their skills and prepare for their future careers.

INTA’s original and ongoing Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition in the United States and its Asia-Pacific Moot Court Competition, which launched in 2017, inspired this new competition. It is designed primarily for undergraduate students or recent graduates of law school programs in the Andean Community member countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru), but is open to students and recent law school graduates from other countries.

Participating students were charged with the preparation, presentation, and legal defense of a fictitious intellectual property (IP) case being argued before the TJCA. A total of 116 students in 33 teams from the four Andean Community member countries as well as from Mexico and Venezuela entered the competition. From those, 28 teams submitted briefs.

Judges reviewed and scored the briefs according to the following criteria: (1) knowledge (45%); (2) legal argumentation capacity (45%); and (3) drafting and handling of bibliographic, normative, and jurisprudential sources (10%). The 12 teams with the highest scores (six as plaintiffs and six as defendants) moved forward to the final stage of the competition, which consisted of two days of oral arguments.

The 12 teams—comprising 43 students—represented the following nine schools: Universidad Externado de Colombia, Universidad Mayor de San Andres (Bolivia), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Universidad CESMAG (Colombia), Universidad ESAN (Peru), Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia), Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos del Perú, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador), and Universidad del Rosario de Colombia.

A prominent panel of judges evaluated the teams on their degree of subject knowledge, strength of their arguments, ability to defend the side assigned to them, solvency when answering the questions posed by the judges, knowledge of the case, and oral skills.

In all, 18 judges from TJCA and 30 INTA members read briefs and heard arguments throughout the various rounds of the competition. The judges for the final round were TJCA President, Magistrate Gustavo García Brito; TJCA Magistrate Luis Rafael Vergara; TJCA Magistrate Hugo R. Gómez; and INTA Chief Representative Officer, Latin America and the Caribbean, José Luis Londoño.

The first-place team was composed of María Laura Fragozo (team leader), Julián Jaramillo, Leonardo Parodi, and María Paula Bustos of Universidad del Rosario de Colombia; Ms. Fragoza was also recognized for best oral argument.

The second-place team consisted of Daniela Rojas Dager (team leader), Daniela Rojas Torres, and Lorena Urrego Ávila of Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia.

The best brief was submitted by a team from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos del Perú: Pamela Mirielle Matias Calle (team leader), Jose Carlos Ballon Jimenez, Adriana Felicita Cangalaya Ponce, and Valeria Patricia Tello Barra.

Depending on the category, prizes include free registration to INTA’s 2022 Annual Meeting, April 30‒May 4 in Washington, D.C.; a compendium of publications; and scholarships.

Upon conclusion of the competition, the TJCA president, Magistrate Dr. García Brito, commented, “This first annual Moot Court Competition constitutes the cornerstone in the construction of a new space for study and legal research, which aims to contribute to the formation of professional capacities specializing in Andean Community Law and intellectual property in the region.”

Added TJCA Secretary Luis Felipe Aguilar: “The interest generated by the Moot Court Competition has exceeded expectations. The Court of Justice of the Andean Community has sought new ways to disseminate Andean Community Law and link directly with law students from member countries, and the moot court has proven to be perhaps one of the best mechanisms to achieve this objective.”

At the virtual award ceremony, INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo noted, “It has been a tremendous honor for INTA to collaborate with the Andean Court on this initiative. The students’ skills, sound arguments, and professionalism were extremely impressive, indicating a bright future not only for these aspiring practitioners but also for the IP field in the region.”

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

© 2021 International Trademark Association