The Centrality of Social Justice for an Academic Intellectual Property Institute
31 Pages Posted: 9 May 2011 Last revised: 3 May 2015
Date Written: May 3, 2011
This Article discusses the importance of grounding a law school intellectual property institute on social justice. This is not to say that all IP institutes at all law schools either are or should be so grounded. We assert the more limited proposition that such grounding is valuable and, in the case of the IP institute at Howard University, central. As we show, building an IP institute around a social justice perspective can facilitate proper emphasis on exploring intellectual property law as a mechanism for social justice in the Information Age. The advent of digital technology and related advances provide a means by which to utilize intellectual property regimes to bridge the societal goals of social justice and equality with those of cultural progress and global competition and hegemony. Indeed, a principal justification for protecting intellectual property is to encourage the creation and dissemination of information and knowledge, and the ultimate efficacy of this civic agenda is dependent upon the pervasiveness of its reach: every citizen should have effective access to both. Thus, in fulfilling its function in the training of the legal profession to implement this agenda, a law school intellectual property institute can illuminate and fulfill the constitutional mandate of intellectual property social utility by embracing a social justice mission in its pedagogy, scholarship, and public activism.
Keywords: copyright, social justice, institute, intellectual property, howard, IIPSJ, inclusion, empowerment
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation