The University of Toledo College of Law’s moot court team recently earned high honors last month in the 2015 Beijing Foreign Studies University-Wanhuida Cup Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition in Beijing.The team of Kolet Buenavides, Jason Csehi, Jonathan Kohfeldt and Joseph Stanford performed exceptionally well in oral argument, placing fourth out of 14 teams.
Csehi won the competition’s best oralist award, and Buenavides received an award as outstanding oralist.
The team ranked fifth in the competition overall.
Llewellyn Gibbons, professor of law and intellectual property expert, served as faculty adviser to the team and also traveled with the students to Beijing.
“In addition to their very hard work preparing for the legal argument part of the competition, I was very impressed with the level of cultural sensitivity and professionalism of the UT team,” Gibbons said. “Several team members took the additional step of taking a conversational Chinese class so that they could pronounce Chinese language terms correctly and contacted the Confucius Institute at The University of Toledo for a briefing in Chinese business and banquet etiquette.
“Our students showed the initiative and the attention to detail necessary to compete in a global legal marketplace.”
The University of Toledo’s Center for International Studies and Programs was especially helpful in making the trip possible with its generous funding as well as support navigating the necessary visa requirements for travel to China, Gibbons noted.
The Beijing Foreign Studies University-Wanhuida competition is one of only two English language international moot court competitions involving intellectual property law. This year’s competition hosted 14 teams from China, Australia, Taiwan and the United States.
The competition problem was based on an actual case involving Chinese copyright law. Students submitted briefs and argued the issues in front of a distinguished panel of judges that included a former member of China’s Supreme People’s Court, a retired justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Justice’s resident legal adviser to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, intellectual property judges from Taiwan and China, senior partners in two of China’s largest intellectual property firms, and law professors from China and Australia.
In this context, Gibbons said the competition provided a unique opportunity to explore intellectual property issues with a dynamic and diverse group of students and experts from around the world in a way that is not possible in the traditional classroom setting.