Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice – a book with a mission


Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice, Latef Mtima (ed.)

I’ve just published a peer-reviewed book review in the Oxford Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice. Professor Phillips has noted that I’ve got more interested in Social Justice aspects of IP, what with the Catholic Conference I spoke at in Cambridge, etc. He sent me this to review. It looks at how, despite political equality, the Afro-American segment of the US population remains socio-economically challenged (that’s left-wing-academic-speak for poor). This book considers the role IP has in creating or this situation or allowing it to endure and what can be done about it.

It made an interesting read!

A Book with a Mission

This transformational collection is an essential item for any contemporary IP bookshelf– Peter Jaszi, American University Law School (endorsement on back cover of the book).

Most books on intellectual property (IP) on my contemporary bookshelf deal with what IP is or how the legal profession should better draft and prosecute patents and trade marks. This book is something else. It looks at how IP is related to socio-economic phenomena and what should be done about it. In other words, instead of addressing the issues of ‘what’ and ‘how’, this book addresses the ‘why’, and more importantly, the ‘why not?’ or ‘what if?’.

Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice is a book with a mission. The editor, inspired by the US Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, explains that African Americans not only are no longer slaves, but that they now have the vote. Nevertheless, they remain disadvantaged economically, and as a group have not reached equality with other ethnicities. In the 21st century much of the wealth is in IP. African-American-owned businesses do not have much IP. It is thus incumbent to tweak the system to encourage African Americans to register their IP and to better provide IP protection for African American IP.

The editor has collected a range of like-minded IP academics who each contribute a chapter developing this thesis towards a concluding chapter by the editor. The underlying assumptions are that all racial groups are equally creative, that their IP is equally deserving of protection and the lack of African-American-owned IP assets is …

Elgar Law and Entrepreneurship, 2015 ISBN: 978 1 78347 024 2, hard cover, pp. 296 £85.00

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