This past weekend, the UMKC School of Law dominated in the 2015 Regional IP LawMeet in Chicago, Illinois. Over the past four years, UMKC Law has competed within the Eastern Region and Western Region, and this year the team competed in the newly established Midwestern Region. With a team of three third-year students and three second-year students, the students showed great skill, talent, and dedication and will now proceed onto the national competition.
The team included third-year students Stephen Krogmeier, Joshua Cervantes, and Tariq Adawi and second-year students Hunter Horton, Joli Patel, and Emily Pederson. Krogmeier acted as team captain.
Shortly after the fall term began, the team of six, which is also the largest IP team who has competed thus far, started preparing for the meet. The students charged forward with extraordinary leadership skills. The team conducted weekly meetings and decided who would be best to take the lead in the term drafting, face-to-face negotiations, and managing their schedules. The team’s organization and preparation served them well once the third-year team members arrived in Chicago for the negotiating competition.
The IP LawMeet assigned each participating team to represent one of two sides of a hypothetical IP business deal. This year, Callista Sparks, a popular recording artist, was asked to perform for the half-time show at a major sporting event, the Supurb Bowl, produced by the Magnificent Football League (MFL). It was the team’s assignment to negotiate a deal between this sports league and the artist. The metropolitan region’s practicing lawyers were recruited as the competition judges and came from a variety of practice areas.
The case chiefly involved negotiating ownership of IP rights arising from the performance, as well as sharing in future revenues derived from the IP rights, but the case presented a number of other issues as well. The UMKC Law team represented artist, Callista Sparks in the deal. The competition consisted of two components. First, the team drafted a term sheet for the contract and reviewed the draft term sheet submitted by another team representing the MFL. Second, the UMKC team conducted face-to-face negotiations in two rounds against the team who marked up their draft term sheet and then against the team whose term sheet they reviewed. In this competition, team winners arise on both sides of the case: a winning team for Callista Sparks and a winning team for the MFL.
Adawi led the term sheet drafting part of the competition, which resulted in the award for best term sheet draft on the Sparks side of the case. Krogmeier and Cervantes conducted the face-to-face negotiations, and with the combined scores of the negotiations and the term sheet, UMKC Law triumphed and won the Callista Sparks side of the competition and advanced to nationals.
The national competition is now underway, and the teams were asked to revise the draft term sheets based on new facts to expand the hypothetical case. These revisions are due by the end of the week, and the students will dive into negotiating rounds on Friday, November 6.