Our mission is to pursue the social justice obligations of intellectual property protection by promoting core principles of access, inclusion, and empowerment.

Our Vision for Intellectual Property x Social Justice

We examine intellectual property law and policy—as well as the IP regime in total—to see where full participation of disadvantaged, excluded, and marginalized groups may need redressing.

Here in the field of intellectual property, social justice addresses the ability to enjoy the fruits of others, at some base level of procedural equality (equal access).

It also addresses the ability to have some base level of substantive equality in the beneficial impact of intellectual property created by others.

Social justice includes not only access to, but also inclusion in the social, cultural, and economic life of the country. Indeed, it extends beyond—to full participation in and ability to affect the direction of civil society in all its manifestations.

Social Justice Defined

A protean concept that varies with circumstances.
The aspirational ideal of substantive equality with functional, relatively easily addressable features of procedural equality.
Inclusive of at least some aspects of individual liberty (e.g., autonomy) as well as some communitarian liberty values such as civic virtues like voting, religious association, and pursuit of legitimate group interests.
An embodiment of the core values enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and Preamble to the United States Constitution of equality, liberty, and advancing the general welfare of humankind.

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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.

– Lateef Mtima, Founder and Director of IIPSJ, Professor of Law at the Howard University School of Law