In a first-of-its-kind event, the International Trademark Association 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. Students from Universidad del Rosario de Colombia; Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia; and Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos del Peru were named the winners in the event’s four categories.
The Andean Community Moot Court Competition marked the organizations’ first moot court event in the Andean Community. It also represented INTA’s first competition conducted in Spanish, in which law school teams addressed important issues in trademark and unfair competition law in the region in order to hone their skills and prepare for their future careers.
The academic activity was aimed at undergraduate students or recent graduates of law programs at universities in the Andean Community member countries—Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru—and from other countries. A total of 116 students comprising 33 teams from the four member countries as well as Mexico and Venezuela registered; 28 teams submitted briefs, of which 12 teams with a total of 43 students from schools in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru competed in the oral arguments.
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. Fragozo 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 Peru: Pamela Mirielle Matias Calle (team leader), Jose Carlos Ballon Jimenez, Adriana Felicita Cangalaya Ponce, and Valeria Patricia Tello Barra.
After the competition concluded, the president of the TJCA, Magistrate Dr. Gustavo García Brito, commented: “The first edition of the 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 specialized in Andean Community Law and Intellectual Property in the region.”
In addition, the secretary of the TJCA, Luis Felipe Aguilar emphasized that the interest aroused by the Moot Court Competition 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. The Moot Court Competition has proven to be perhaps one of the best mechanisms to achieve this objective,” he said.
At the virtual awards 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 intellectual property field in the region.”
For the competition, students were charged with the preparation, presentation, and legal defense of a fictitious case related to Andean Community Law and Intellectual Property in the Andean Community. Contestants submitted written briefs that were qualified by experts in Community Law and Intellectual Property and competed in virtual oral arguments on December 1 and 2. A prominent panel of experts evaluated the teams on their degree of knowledge on the subject, strength of the 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, 17 judges from the institutions of the Andean Integration System, including former magistrates, the rector of the Andean University Simón Bolívar (Ecuador), and officials of the Andean Court and of the General Secretariat of the Andean Community (SGCA), and 30 INTA members reviewed briefs and heard arguments throughout the various rounds of the competition. The judges for the final round were TJCA Magistrate García Brito, TJCA Magistrate Vergara, TJCA Magistrate Hugo R. Gómez, and INTA Chief Representative Officer, Latin America and the Caribbean, José Luis Londoño.
Depending on the category, prizes include free registration to INTA’s 2022 Annual Meeting, April 30 to May 4 in Washington, D.C., as well as compendiums of publications, internships at the TJCA and SGA, and scholarships to the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Bolivia and Ecuador.
INTA’s original and ongoing Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition in the U.S., which has been held annually for the past 30 years, and its Asia-Pacific Moot Court Competition, which launched in 2017, inspired the Andean Community Moot Court Competition.
About the International Trademark Association
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property (IP) to foster consumer trust, economic growth, and innovation. Members include nearly 6,500 organizations, representing more than 34,350 individuals (trademark owners, professionals, and academics) from 185 countries, who benefit from the Association’s global trademark resources, policy development, education and training, and international network. Founded in 1878, INTA is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Beijing, Brussels, Santiago, Singapore, and Washington, D.C., and a representative in New Delhi. For more information, visit inta.org.