The IIPSJ Mission

The Fulfilment of the Social Justice Obligations of Intellectual Property Protection by Embracing the Principles of Equitable Access, Inclusion, and Empowerment.

About Us

The Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice (“IIPSJ”) was established to address the social justice implications of intellectual property law and policy both domestically and globally. IIPSJ’s broad work includes the scholarly examination of intellectual property law from the social justice perspective; advocacy for social justice-cognizant interpretation, application, and revision of the intellectual property law; efforts to increase the diversity of the intellectual property legal bar; and programs to empower historically and currently disadvantaged and marginalized communities through the development, protection, use, and exploitation of intellectual property.

About Our History

Intellectual Property x Social Justice

Social justice varies with circumstances, including both the aspirational ideal of substantive equality as well as functional, relatively easily addressable features of procedural equality. Social justice includes at least some aspects of individual liberty (e.g., autonomy) as well as some communitarian liberty values. 

In the field of intellectual property, social justice includes the ability to enjoy the fruits of others at some base level of procedural equality (equal access) and the ability to have some base level of substantive equality in the beneficial impact of intellectual property created by others. Even more importantly, social justice in the area of intellectual property extends beyond mere access and beyond mere passive observation or enjoyment of others’ works (e.g., listening to a recording or seeing a movie) to include the ability to participate in the creation and exploitation of intellectual property both in a procedurally fair way and substantively significant way.

IIP x SJ Defined:


Access for all to the IP Ecosystem.


Inclusion of everyone in IP endeavor and contribution to society.


Empowerment of people to participate fully in the economic, social, and cultural life of the country.

What We Do:Social Justice Advocacy

The Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice has helped to launch a number of programs and initiatives focused on social justice advocacy. The IP Social Justice CLE program provides annual updates in IP law, a panel of sitting federal judges, and discussions of IP, diversity, and social justice concerns. IP for the People is a FREE digital, open access academy for creators, inventors, and entrepreneurs from communities of color who have historically and continually been locked out of receiving key knowledge and resources related to protecting and profiting from their ideas. Take Creative Control is a community outreach initiative designed to provide grassroots intellectual property education and pro bono legal advice to underserved and marginalized communities. The IIPSJ Mosaic Roundtable Conference was established to bring together scholars, law and policy makers, and social activists of diverse and multicultural backgrounds and perspectives to explore progressive and non-traditional ideas in intellectual property law, policy, and social activism.

We invite you to take a look at our past events and programs and explore what’s coming up next.

Our Past Programs

Meet our Team

Lateef Mtima
Founder and Director

Metka Potočnik
IIPSJ Associate Director for International Programmes

Kim Tignor
Executive Director

Tashia Bunch
Program Director

Steven Jamar (Professor Emeritus)
Associate Director for Scholarly Initiatives

Learn More About Our Team


Want to help, but don't know where to begin? A donation to IIPSJ helps ensure that cultural identities and creative voices are protected from commercial exploitation.

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