Now There’s a Trademark Issue for You

University of Richmond School of Law Intellectual Property Institute

April 1, 2022

Richmond, Virginia—The Intellectual Property Institute (IPI) at the University of Richmond School of Law announced that it has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia against the Center for Law & Intellectual Property (CLIP) at Texas A&M University School of Law. CLIP is prohibited from violating the IPI’s trademark rights for its “Evil Twin Debate”.

In 2004, it was founded. IPI It is an internationally recognized center that studies contemporary issues in intellectual property. It hosts the Evil Twin Debate every year, and it is this marquee event that has been held annually since 2007. It has been part of our public programming more than 10 years. IPI executive director Christa Pechora Poirot. Its unique format allows experts to meet in pairs and have a conversation. This is very important for our brand.”

Last year, IPI learned that CLIP used “Shaping Debate”, a tagline to encourage its intellectual property center. CLIP refused to change the name of “Debate”, despite being friendly asked. CLIP insists on using it. There it is!Poirot noted that they use this in marketing material. It is at the top.

Poirot said, “Like all trademark owners, we take the brand seriously. We have an obligation to students, alumni and donors to protect it to the greatest extent permitted by the law.” Another school could infringe our trademark rights. We cannot afford that.” This lawsuit is about trademark infringement and diluting by tarnishment.

Christa Pechora poirot can be reached at Ipi@richmOnd.EDu.

And a prompt response from the Texas A & M School of Law Intellectual Property Center :


Fort Worth, Texas—April 1, 2022TheCenter for Law and Intellectual Propertyat Texas A&M University School of Law intends to vigorously defend against recent allegations that it violated the University of Richmond’s trademark rights.

Pru Keety (director of operations at CLIP) said, “We discovered today that the University of Richmond had filed suit against me for allegedly violating my rights in the term ‘Evil Twin Debate’.” Keety, who was previously the executive director of another highly regarded IP program, had been indicted. Keety said, “We also intend to show that any association between their IP center and ours can only improve Richmond’s image.”

“They should be paying us for burnishment—not suing us for tarnishment.”

In the past five years, peer surveys conducted by U.S. News and World Report have ranked Texas A&M continuously among the top 10 intellectual property law programs in the United States. To prepare the J.D., the Center blends classroom instruction with practical experience. Graduate students and professionals to help them navigate complex legal issues such as trademarks, patents, and trade secrets.

In Virginia, the case was filed at federal court. Keety has been consulting with lawyers for the law school. She predicts they will file an application to dismiss the case outright and the court will probably grant her request. Keety stated that although we will be fighting these allegations in Richmond, she is confident that the judge will accept our superior knowledge of applicable law. Keety stated that they couldn’t understand the law enough to get their complaint wrong. “Evil Twin Debate” is not a trademark but a service mark. This just goes to show that Richmond clowns are very knowledgeable about IP law.


Media contacts: Abrahan Baku Shivsthu,

Note that Rule 11 Sanctions requests would most likely be denied by Rule 4(1) defense.