uOttawa law students win the 2023 Oxford International Intellectual Property Moot

Posted on Friday, March 24, 2023

The Centre for Law, Technology and Society celebrates another successful year at the 20th Annual Oxford International Intellectual Property Law Moot. Julia Kafato, Ana Nizharadze, and Jessica Rollins, coached by Professor Jeremy de Beer, brought home a first-place finish. The achievements of this year’s Oxford team affirm a long-standing tradition of international IP mooting success for the University of Ottawa team.

Appearing in the Grand Final before UK Supreme Court judge Lord Kitchin, Sir Richard Arnold of the Court of Appeal for England and Wales, and Professor Robert Burrell of Oxford, uOttawa prevailed over Melbourne’s Monash University. The students’ road to success required competing against highly skilled teams from other globally renowned schools in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Ana Nizharadze was also recognized with a top-5 best speaker award.  

“This team’s success,” says Professor Jeremy de Beer who coached the team along with CIPPIC counsel David Fewer and Christian Clavette, “is attributable to their special combination of innate talent, dedicated teamwork, and incredible work ethic.” Uniquely at uOttawa, mooters enrol in two specialized experiential learning courses to hone their skills in both written and oral advocacy.  

Kafato was very pleased with the experience. “This was an incredible opportunity and a definite highlight of my law school experience. It would not have been possible without the hard work of the entire team, especially including our coaches who supported us through many late nights and long practice sessions spent preparing,” she said.  

Ana adds: "“Representing Ottawa in Oxford was a true privilege. Our success would not be possible without the whole team, including our incredible coaches who dedicated endless hours to prepare us. Additionally, huge thank you to the supportive IP community who took time out of their busy schedules to run practice sessions. Ending my law school journey with a victory is something I will always remember!”  

Highlights included a dress rehearsal in the Supreme Court of Canada facilitated by Federal Court of Appeal judges Gleason, Gauthier, and Locke.  

Ana, Julia, and Jessica’s accomplishments in Oxford follow on their strong performance as runners-up in the 2022 Harold G. Fox Intellectual Property Moot, where Ana was recognized as the most outstanding oralist in a non-graduating year with the DLA Piper (Canada) LLP award for Mooting Excellence. Thanks to DLA Piper (Canada) LLP for the generous funding helping to support the team’s participation in the 2023 Oxford moot.  

The students’ success is also the result of uOttawa’s extraordinary community of mentors.  Over six months of preparation, the team was supported by numerous former mooters and their colleagues in private practice, including our school’s primary IP moot sponsor, Ridout & Maybee LLP, as well as lawyers from Aitken Klee, Bennett Jones, Blakes, the Copyright Board of Canada, Engel & Associates, Gowling WLG, McCarthy Tétreault, Norton Rose Fulbright, Weirfoulds, and others. 

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of Oxford IP moot. Participating in the oral rounds for the 10th time in that period, uOttawa has now won the competition for a record-setting third time (2013, 2016, 2023), after reaching at least the quarter-finals in all 10 years, the semi-finals in nine, and the grand finals in four. 

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