IIPSJ, Inc., sponsors, organizes, and conducts a variety of programs addressing social justice aspects of intellectual property. Programs seek to increase minority and underrepresented groups in the practicing IP bar, to consider IP legal issues with social justice implications, to use IP to empower creators and inventors in minority and marginalized communities, and to serve as a catalyst for action by others in each of these areas.

The main activities of IIPSJ are (1) training and education in various contexts including community outreach; (2) public advocacy for social justice on IP issues; and (3) research and scholarship on the social justice impacts of IP law, policy, and administration.

These activities are done under three primary programs at present:  The IIPSJ IP Law and Policy Think Tank and IIPSJ International.

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IIPSJ sponsors, organizes, and conducts a variety of programs which explore the social justice obligations of intellectual property law. Through these programs, IIPSJ seeks to increase the participation of historically underrepresented groups in the practicing IP bar, to consider IP legal issues which involve important social justice implications, to use IP to empower creators and inventors in minority and historically marginalized communities and in the developing world, and to serve as a catalyst for IP social activism. 

IIPSJ IP Law and Policy Think Tank

In 2010 IIPSJ created the IIPSJ IP Law and Policy Think Tank. (More information about the Think Tank and its activities can be found on the Think Tank main page.) The IIPSJ Think Tank considers and develops ideas regarding IP and social justice and actively engages target audiences both in development and implementation of impact programs. While the Think Tank is always examining issues from the perspective of the effect of choices on social justice concerns, the IIPSJ Think Tank is structured flexibly to adapt to the evolving IP environment and various issues it presents.

The IIPSJ Law and Policy Think Tank is the only think tank dedicated to evaluating IP law and policy and related issues from the social justice perspectives of inclusion and empowerment.  The Think Tank functions as a voice for social justice-oriented IP legislation; as a fulcrum for IP Civil Rights activism and community awareness, education, entrepreneurship, and empowerment; and as a forum for scholarly and professional discussion and action on important national and international IP law and policy controversies.

The IIPSJ Think Tank uses a multi-disciplinary approach designed to generate and facilitate collaboration and discourse among legal, scientific, and economic scholars, as well as  legislators, policy makers, jurists, practicing attorneys, and civil rights and social activists. The Think Tank conducts research; does legislative briefings; issues public position statements; and promotes and organizes community, activist, and professional coalition building.

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IIPSJ IP Social Justice Impact Programs

While all of IIPSJ's programs are concerned with advancing the cause of social justice, several programs are aimed more directly at impacting the law and people. The Think Tank serves as the core umbrella for these kinds of initiatives, which include the IP Empowerment Summit, Public Policy Advocacy and Commentary, and Policy Research and Scholarship.

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IIPSJ CLE

One of IIPSJ's principal objectives is to promote diversity within the IP bar by working to expand the opportunities for minority attorneys to enter and distinguish th

emselves in the field. The IIPSJ CLE programs help HUSL alumni and other practitioners to develop and maintain expertise in IP practice and also provide opportunities for experienced minority IP lawyers to demonstrate their expertise to audiences they might not otherwise reach. The IIPSJ CLE programs also provide networking opportunities for lawyers from differing practice environments and emphases, including attorneys from private practice, from government, from the judiciary, and from academia.

The IIPSJ CLE programs also seek to advance social justice by highlighting the social justice concerns relevant to emerging IP issues. Through its CLE programs, IIPSJ stimulates practical and scholarly discourse on questions of disparity in access to and the use of intellectual property and information technology, as well as related problems of institutionalized racial and economic inequity.


IIPSJ Online Law Library

Two critical mandates of IP social justice are inclusion and empowerment. IIPSJ works to include and empower those on the wrong side of the IP/Digital Divide by improving access to IP information and knowledge, as a means by which to enable marginalized and developing communities to produce, control, and exploit intellectual property output. One such project is the IIPSJ IP and Social Justice Online Law Library, which provides free access to a growing collection of works which explore the social justice obligations of IP protection.

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