On November 16, 2017, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights officially launched Creative Control, its community outreach initiative designed to provide grassroots intellectual property education and pro bono legal advice to underserved and marginalized communities. The Creative Control Official Launch was hosted at Red Rocks H Street Bistro in Washington D.C., following the advance “soft launch” this past summer, and IIPSJ was once again privileged to partner in this unique and essential service to the public which provides critical assistance to creators and innovators who might not otherwise obtain vital IP information, guidance, and legal advice.

The Creative Control Official Launch was attended by more than 300 artists, writers, inventors, and entrepreneurs from throughout the DC metropolitan area. Dozens of IP attorneys and policy experts volunteered throughout the evening, with program support provided by students from the Howard University School of Law and additional volunteers from George Mason Law School. The evening’s program included IP education panels on basic IP protection and registration, IP monetization and licensing, and how artists and other members of the public can use copyrighted material under the Fair Use Doctrine. Attendees also participated in more than forty “one on one” sessions with individual IP attorneys to discuss some of their specific issues and ideas.

In addition to the on-site sessions, information for follow up referrals was provided by volunteers from the Patent and Trademark Resource Center at Howard University, which assists the public with free information on patent and trademark application procedures and other aspects of the patent and trademark systems, to support the diverse intellectual property needs of the public; the Howard Law School Trademark Clinic, which provides free assistance in filing trademark registration applications, and the George Mason Law School Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic, which provides IP counseling to individual artists, creators, and small businesses, and also undertakes law and policy advocacy on behalf of non-profit institutions which support public interest in the IP system.

For those new to Creative Control, Creative Control is a new initiative started by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law designed to empower entrepreneurs and creatives of color by providing knowledge of and access to intellectual property expertise. Creative Control is a community of lawyers, creatives, inventors, entrepreneurs, and academics who are interested in protecting and advocating for the creative rights of people of color everywhere. The initiative connects creatives and entrepreneurs to intellectual property lawyers and resources for free, to help them become better protected and to counter cultural and creative appropriation in all of its myriad forms.

Panelists pictured: Lateef Mtima, Eric Easter, Chanelle Hardy, Raheem DeVaughn, John Mason, and Lita Rosario
The core service provided by Creative Control is its “IP Clinic” sessions and the related IP education panels, which explore issues ranging from online free expression to the public’s fair use rights.   Hosted throughout the country, the Creative Control Clinics bring together emerging entrepreneurs, creatives, innovators, attorneys, academics, and policy experts.

In 2018 Creative Control will host IP Clinics in LA, Atlanta, New York City, and Washington DC. If you know of a creator, innovator, or entrepreneur who could benefit from Creative Control please share this month’s newsletter with them and encourage them to contact us; and if you’d like to learn how you can volunteer to be a part of the next Creative Control please send us a note at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and follow Lawyers' Committee on Instagram @lawyerscomm.


Donate to IIPSJ

Email us at iipsj@iipsj.org to donate and help support IIPSJ.

Email Sign-up

Please type your email address in the box and click enter to subscribe to our mailing list.