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New Generations of Trademark Lawyers Battle Over Wine and Beer Brands

Four past and present OWE attorneys recently judged spirited arguments at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco from law student advocates about whether beer and wine are related goods under US trademark law.  The California-themed problem pitted HOLLYWOOD HOPS for beer against HOLLYWOOD & VINE for wine. The foam flew and corks popped as the students and judges matched wits over the facts and law.

Hosted by INTA, the International Trademark Association, the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition is a prestigious, nationally-recognized annual event, with law school teams throughout the country participating in a series of regional competitions leading to a national final.  The competition introduces law students to important issues arising in U.S. trademark and unfair competition law. Students develop their brief writing and oral advocacy skills in a mock courtroom experience.

OWE’s John C. Baum, past national chair of INTA’s Lefkowitz Committee, was on the scene as one of the judges at this year’s West Coast regional competition, which was held in San Francisco on February 10, 2018.  Teams participated from Golden Gate University School of Law, Gonzaga University School of Law, University of Santa Clara School of Law, Berkeley Law, UC Hastings School of Law, McGeorge School of Law, and University of San Francisco School of Law.

Over the years, many of OWE’s experienced attorneys have served as judges for the competition.  In addition to John Baum, who’s been involved for more than a quarter century, this year’s competition for the first time ever included three recent former OWE associate attorneys as judges – Alica Del Valle, Senior Marketing & IP Counsel at Airbnb, Lindsey Furtado, IP Counsel at Square, and Eric Gelwicks, Manager of Legal and Business Affairs at Live Nation.  They are all leaders in the next generation of trademark law specialists, with roots starting at OWE.

The winners of the San Francisco regional argument will advance to the national finals on March 17, 2018, held at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

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