Chicago-Kent College of Law wins 2018 Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition Championship

The Chicago-Kent College of Law team of Brittany Kaplan ’19 and Evan Kline-Wedeen ’18 won first place in the national finals of the 2018 Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition, held March 17 at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.


From left: Brittany Kaplan, Ashly Boesche, Evan Kline-Wedeen

Along with their first-place finish, the team earned the first-place award for best oral argument and the second-place award for best brief. The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law finished in second place overall, and UCLA School of Law received the second-place best oral argument award.

“Our team put in countless hours of preparation in writing the brief and holding moots of oral argument,” said Edward Lee, director of Chicago-Kent’s Program in Intellectual Property. “They deserve all the recognition they will receive as 2018 national champions.”

This year, students argued a case involving a trademark dispute between a fictional brewpub named Hollywood Hops and a fictional wine bar named Hollywood & Vine. At issue was whether the District Court erred in finding that the wine bar did not infringe on the brewpub’s trademark and whether the plaintiff acquiesced to defendant’s use of the word “Hollywood” in connection with defendant’s sale of wine.

Second-year student Kaplan earned an M.S. degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. degree in journalism from Michigan State University. Third-year student Kline-Wedeen graduated with a B.S. degree in bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Ashly I. Boesche ’04, a partner at Pattishall McAuliffe, coached the team, with help from Mickie Piatt, deputy director of Chicago-Kent’s Program in Intellectual Property Law. Kent Streseman, director of Chicago-Kent’s Ilana Diamond Rovner Program in Appellate Advocacy, and attorneys Sarah Aagaard ’15, Cole Garrett ’15, Eliot Gusdorf ’16, and Kenneth Matuszewski ’16, who all previously represented Chicago-Kent in the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition, helped the team practice.

Established in 1990 by the International Trademark Association, the competition is named for the late Saul Lefkowitz, former chairman of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, to honor his contributions to the development of trademark law and to the education of the trademark bar. Chicago-Kent alumna Dolores K. Hanna ’52, an influential trademark attorney, was instrumental in establishing the competition. The best brief award is named in her honor. Teams from Chicago-Kent placed second in the national competition in 2016 and finished in fourth place in 2014 and 2017.

Chicago-Kent currently offers a J.D. certificate program in intellectual property law and in 2002 became the first American law school to offer a one-year LL.M. degree in international intellectual property law. Chicago Kent’s Program in Intellectual Property Law is currently ranked first in the country by Law Street Media.