Reflections on the Harold G. Fox 2012 Canadian Intellectual Property Moot

Reflections on the Harold G. Fox 2012 Canadian Intellectual Property Moot

What an experience! Following months of intense preparation, the fourth annual Harold G. Fox Moot took place last weekend – much to the enjoyment and satisfied relief of all those involved. With the competition now behind us, the team has a few reflections and words of thanks to offer.

This year’s moot problem centered on remedies for patent infringement. In the problem’s hypothetical scenario, the defendant had admittedly infringed the plaintiff’s valid patent. What remained to be determined was the appropriate quantum of damages and whether a permanent injunction ought to be granted for the remainder of the patent’s life. This simple premise was greatly complicated by a number of carefully worded situational factors that allowed for compelling arguments to be made on behalf of either party.

Eight teams from across Canada participated in the competition this year: Osgoode Hall Law School, Queen’s University, the University of Alberta, the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, the University of Victoria, the University of Windsor and Western University.

The competition began Friday midday with the Fox IP Lecture, this year delivered by Osgoode’s own Professor David Vaver. His speech, entitled “Intellectual Property: Is it Still a ‘Bargain’?”, evaluated the common view of intellectual property rights as a bargain struck between creators and the state viz the public. As always, Professor Vaver’s message was as thought-provoking as it was eloquently delivered. In the words of thanks delivered by Justice Cronk of the Ontario Court of Appeal, it was apparent to all in what high regard the legal community – both in Canada and internationally – holds Professor Vaver.

The first of two preliminary rounds began shortly after Professor Vaver’s lecture in the Federal Court’s courtrooms in downtown Toronto. Each preliminary round had three panelists from both the judiciary and the intellectual property bar. After the first day of competition, we enjoyed a reception – graciously hosted by Dimock Stratton LLP – where we got the chance to socialize with the other schools’ competitors as well as various members of academia, the judiciary and private practice. It was incredibly exciting to speak to so many of the judges whose decisions we had become familiar with over the course of our research and in law school more broadly. These were the true celebrities to us law students; it was fascinating to get a sense of the judges’ personalities and listen to their perspectives on various matters of law and life.

The second preliminary round began early Saturday morning and the semi-finalists were announced shortly after lunch. Our Respondent team, comprising Kyle Rees and Alex Chang, were among the fortunate few who progressed. Following an excellent performance in the semi-finals, they went on to the final round and were only narrowly beaten by the opposing team from Western University. The panel for the final round included Justice Marshall Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada (IP Osgoode Advisory Board Member), Chief Justice Randall Rader of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Justice Eleanore Cronk of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Justice Edgar Sexton of the Federal Court of Appeal, and Justice Roger Hughes (IP Osgoode Advisory Board Member) of the Federal Court. To say it was an active panel would be a staggering understatement. Every mooter who stood before the panel was met with an overwhelming barrage of questions and comments, but each, to his credit, maintained his composure and offered thoughtful responses.

The winners were announced at the awards dinner on Saturday night at the University Club. The Harold G. Fox Cup for the best mooting team was awarded to Charles Pettypiece and Benjamin Reingold of Western University. The Donald F. Sim Award for the best oral advocate was given to Vanessa Ibe of the University of Windsor. Alex Wai and Christopher Langan of the University of Toronto earned the Gordon F. Henderson Award for the best factum. Charles Pettypiece of Western University was also awarded the Dimock Stratton LLP award for the best mooter in a non-graduating year. Following dinner and the presentation of awards, we enjoyed our second reception and had another chance to mingle with the other competitors and panellists. This experience itself was reason enough to have participated in the competition.

The team would like to offer profound thanks to the many people who made for such an engaging and successful competition. Thank you to all of the organizers, in particular co-chairs Professor Emir A.C. Mohammed from the University of Windsor and Angela Furlanetto of Dimock Stratton LLP, as well as their many assistants from both camps. Thank you to all of the many sponsors for their remarkable generosity. On a more personal note, sincerest thank you to our coaches Casey Chisick (IP Osgoode Advisory Board Member), Shane Hardy and Tim Pinos of Cassels Brock for their invaluable assistance and support in the months leading up to the competition.


(from left) Amanda Laren, Aaron Kucharczuk, Dan Whalen, Alex Chang and Kyle Reese comprised the 2012 Harold G. Fox Moot team for Osgoode Hall Law School.

 Daniel Whalen is a JD Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School and a member of this year's Harold G. Fox Moot team for Osgoode Hall Law School.