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.
In 2010 IIPSJ created the IIPSJ IP Law and Poicy Think Tank. (More information about the Think Tank and its programs can be found on the Think Tank main page.) The IIPSJ Think Tank works with ideas, of course, and it also 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 an incubator for social justice oriented IP legislative development and amendment; IP Civil Rights activism and community awareness, education, entrepreneurship, and empowerment; and scholarly and professional involvement on important national and international IP law and policy controversies.
The IIPSJ Think Tank uses a multi-disciplinary approach, designed to steward IP law and policy toward a more socially cognizant and equitable IP regime. The IIPSJ Think Tank generates and facilitates collaboration and discourse among legal, scientific, and economic scholars, as well as legislators, policy makers, jurists, practicing attorneys, and civil rights and social activists; conducts research, legislative briefings, public comments, and publications; and promotes and organizes community, activist, and professional coalition building.
While all of IIPSJ's programs are concerned with advancing the cause of social justice, several are aimed more directly at impacting the law and people. The Think Tank programs is the core umbrella for these sorts of programs. Signifcant IIPSJ social justice Think Tank programs include the IIPSJ IP Empowerment Summit, Public Policy Advocacy, and IIPSJ Research and Scholarship.
A major IIPSJ program is at Howard University School of Law (IIPSJ at HUSL or IIPSJ at Howard). The IIPSJ at HUSL program includes various components including sponsoring speakers, developing and supporting the IP curriculum, mentoring students interested in IP law, coordinating with other faculty and university departments, etc.
One of IIPSJ's principal objectives is to promote diversity among IP practitioners by working to expand the opportunities for minority attorneys to enter and distinguish themselves in the field. The IIPSJ CLE programs help HUSL alumni and other practitioners develop and maintain expertise in IP practice and provide opportunities for experienced minority IP lawyers to demonstrate their expertise to an audience they might not otherwise reach. The IIPSJ CLE programs also provide networking opportunities for lawyers from diverse groups 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 social justice concerns in emerging IP issues. Through the CLE programs IIPSJ stimulates practical and scholarly discourse on questions of disparity in access to and use of information technology and problems of institutionalized racial and economic inequity related to intellectual property.
Two aspects of social justice are inclusion and empowerment. Through working to make information available, IIPSJ, Inc., seeks to include those on the wrong side of the digital divide and to empower people to develop and exploit intellectual property-based works. One effort in this regard is the IIPSJ IP and Social Justice Online Law Library which is just in the earliest stages of development.