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Awards & Competitions

AIPLA holds a variety of annual awards competitions for regular members, students members and youth.

Maurice Klitzman Award

Robert C. Watson Award

AIPLA Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition

Jan Jancin Competition


For Members

The Maurice Klitzman Award provides a junior corporate attorney or corporate patent agent the opportunity to attend the AIPLA Annual Meeting (with most expenses paid), and the opportunity to be matched up with a mentor during the meeting. The award was named after Maurice Klitzman for his active service to AIPLA, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors and a member of the Amicus Committee, as well as the active role he took in educating many new patent attorneys, both as a senior corporate patent counsel and as an adjunct law professor. 

AIPLA will be accepting applications for the 2016 Maurice Klitzman Award soon. The winner will receive a complimentary registration to the AIPLA Annual Meeting, October 27-29, 2016 in Washington, DC; coach airfare or train fare; hotel accommodation at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel; tickets to all meeting functions; and incidental ground transportation. In addition the recipient will be assigned a mentor to provide guidance during the meeting and facilitate the opportunity to meet members of the AIPLA leadership.

Learn more about the award and how to apply.

For Student Members

The Robert C. Watson Award and The AIPLA Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition, are designed to give students further experience with the concepts and realities of a career in IP Law. The Jan Jancin Competition includes two separate awards offered to law students nominated by their schools who have excelled in the study of intellectual property law. See the descriptions below.

Robert C. Watson Award

AIPLA has sponsored this student competition for many years to encourage interest in intellectual property issues. Students are encouraged to submit articles on a subject relating to the protection of intellectual property. Judges consider the merit of the article as a contribution to the knowledge respecting intellectual property and the extent to which it displays original and creative thought or information not previously written or published by an author. The award is presented each October during the AIPLA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
The 2015 Winner was: ​Jordan Klimek, Harvard Law School, Boston, MA for his paper: ”Patents as Regulations:  How the America Invents Act and the Seminole Rock Doctrine Could Change Claim Construction after Teva v. Sandoz​.​"
2016 RULES:
To be eligible for consideration, articles must be:
  • Written solely by a full-time law student(s) between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.
  • Approximately 10 law review pages including footnotes (30-40 typed pages)
    • If mailed, submit 20 copies
    • If emailed, please submit 1 copy (pdf format preferred) to
    • Accompanied by the writer’s name, current address, phone number, e-mail address and employment information if appropriate.
  • Postmarked to AIPLA on or before June 30, 2016.

Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed to the author of the winning paper to travel to Washington, DC to receive the Watson Award on October 28, 2016 during the AIPLA 2016 Annual Meeting. Send articles to:

American Intellectual Property Law Association
Watson Award Competition
241 18th Street South, Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22202
Telephone: 703-415-0780

or email your article in PDF format to

Download a flyer about the 2016 Watson Award​ (coming soon)
Click here for a list of previous award recipients

The AIPLA Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition — Presenting Problems in Intellectual Property Law

AIPLA is pleased to announce the 43rd Annual AIPLA Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition. This competition is named for a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit who was the most distinguished jurist in the field of patent law in the world.
How to Enter for 2016
The 2016 AIPLA Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition is divided into five regional competitions followed by a national competition among the top two teams from each region. The regional competitions will be held in Houston, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta on the weekend of March 11-13, 2016. The National Finals will take place in Washington, DC on April13-15, 2016.
Each participating school may enter as many as two teams of two students each, chosen in any manner satisfactory to the school. (See Rule 4 for applicable restrictions where a school has multiple teams.) The team will be required to submit thirteen copies of each brief that will be served on the regional director and one copy of each brief that will be served on each other team in the region on or before February 1, 2016.
If your school intends to participate in the competition, you must notify one of our regional directors in writing no later than January 15, 2016 (see Rule 6). You may enter in a region other than that in which your school is located. The regional directors are listed in Appendix A.
The National Director of the competition is Ryan Alley; Frank Gerratana and Theresa Gresl are co-chairs of the New Lawyers Committee.
Download a flyer about the 2016 Moot Court Competition Poster (PDF) (coming soon)
Click here view more information about the Moot Court Competition

The Jan Jancin Competition

The Jan Jancin Competition includes two separate awards offered to law students nominated by their schools who have excelled in the study of intellectual property law. The first award is the Jan Jancin Award, which includes a cash award of $5,000. The second award has been established by the Past Presidents of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and awards up to a maximum of a $2,500 cash award. Details of these awards are listed below.

How To Enter for 2016

The American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation (AIPLEF), the Intellectual Property Law Section of the American Bar Association (ABA-IPL), and AIPLA invite institutions to nominate a law student who has excelled in the study of intellectual property law. The 2016 Jan Jancin Competition is offering two awards, as follows:

The first award is the prestigious Jan Jancin Award, named after Mr. Jancin, who served not only as President of AIPLA and Chair of the ABA-IPL Section, but served with distinction in other leadership roles in other intellectual property law associations, nationally and internationally. Students of IP law and growth in quality IP law education were keen interests of Mr. Jancin. Additionally, he was a persistent and perceptive observer of the legislative process as it related to all aspects of IP law, and regularly reported to several IP law associations on those activities.

The winner of the Jan Jancin Award will receive a $5,000 cash award, and reasonable travel expenses to receive the award during the 2016 ABA Meeting in Chicago, IL. The recipient must be able to attend in person to receive the award.

The second award, The AIPLA Past Presidents Award for 2016, provides the recipient with up to a maximum cash award of $2,500, and an invitation to attend the 2016 AIPLA Annual Meeting. If unable to attend, the award will be mailed to the winner. The recipients of the AIPLA Past Presidents Award for the last three years have received $2,500.


Law schools should submit one nomination of a law student enrolled in the year 2016 (including year 2016 graduation candidates) that has exemplified excellence in intellectual property academic studies, is interested in pursuing a career in intellectual property law, and may have participated as a leader in intellectual property-related student activities for consideration. Please note: Only ONE nomination and recommendation letter from each school accepted. The nomination should be no more that two pages and completed by a member of the faculty who has a direct knowledge of the student’s work.

Please submit a nomination in the form of a letter of recommendation on law school letterhead, enclosing a one-page written summation of the achievements from the nominee, along with all items listed in the exemplary criteria including student’s application summary.

Exemplary Criteria For Nominees For The Award

Any law school having at least one IP course is eligible for participation. The dean or appropriate faculty member of each law school, who has a direct knowledge of the student, will determine which IP student among the men and women in that law school best exemplifies excellence in the field of intellectual property law and thereby qualifies as a candidate for the award. Only ONE nomination from each law school will be accepted. The dean is to make the determination in whatever reasonable way he/she wishes. Each dean will have the flexibility to use any reasonable criteria, including, by way of example, any of the following:

  • best grades in IP courses overall;
  • outstanding achievement in specified IP courses;
  • best IP paper written by a student;
  • determination by a faculty consensus; or
  • membership and activity in student IP organizations.

Each participating dean or delegated faculty member who has a direct knowledge of the student, nominates a candidate by sending to the Award Committee a letter identifying the student candidate along with a brief summary of the student’s achievements in IP law, together with a paragraph or two explaining why the student is considered deserving of the award. This letter should be no more that two pages in length. The student must also complete the Jan Jancin Application Summary and submit a one-page essay discussing their personal achievements in the field of IP law to be included in the package submitted by the law school. The (i) nomination letter (ii) application summary and (iii) the one-page written summation of achievements written by the student are essential for selection consideration to receive the award.

To be considered, nominations must be received by no later than May 27, 2016, addressed to:

American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation
c/o Meghan Donohoe
241 18th Street, South, Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22202
Fax: (703) 415-0786
Representatives of the ABA-IPL Section, AIPLA and AIPLEF will select the winners of the 2016 Jan Jancin Competition. If you have any questions concerning this honor, please contact the AIPLEF Administrative Office at 703-415-0780. 

Download the 2016 AIPLEF Jan Jancin application instructions. (coming soon)

View the poster ad for this competition. (coming soon)

Please visit AIPLEF.ORG for more information.

For Youth

AIPLA sponsors four awards during the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world's largest international pre-college science competition. The Intel Fair provides an annual forum for more than 1,500 high school students from 70 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research. The 2015 Fair was held May 11-15  in PIttsburgh, and once again AIPLA participated in the judging.

Learn more about the 2015 winners.​