Why IP is a social justice issue?

Anyone who attended an historically black college and university or grew up watching the CIAA, SWAC, MEAC and SIAC has to suffer a twinge when watching bowl games to see the likes of the University of Wisconsin marching band going through a dance step routine at the Rose Bowl.
Instinctly, one thinks, they stole that from Florida A&M, Tennessee State, N.C. A&T or Delaware State (pick your own school).
Then, the next thought is somebody ought to do something about that.
If the third thought is a sense of frustration that black creative expression has been ripped off again, then you understand the importance of intellectual property law.
At INNOVATION & EQUITY: Spurring Manufacturing Through Innovation in Black Communities, the 11th annual symposium of the 50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011, we begin the process of changing that narrative so that the value and wealth from invention remains in our neighborhoods.
Darrell G. Mottley, a principal shareholder of Banner Witcoff and President-Elect of the D.C. Bar, gives a major address on Creating Value from Innovation.
Every year, there are 1,000 blacks who gain patents on average, according to the National Science Foundation.
Most of them are university researchers or employed by large corporations.
But there are likely many thousands more who have thought of a better process or better design but didn’t know how to take it to the next level.
Our musical director for the symposium Eric “E. Doctor” Smith is a drummer who wanted to stand up like a guitarist. He got a patent for the “drumstick” which is a hand-held electronic drum.
Rapper Dr. Dre is transforming earphones because he was dissatisfied with the way music sounded on various digital devices. Now his name is synonymous with producer-quality sound.
At the University of Maryland, Dr. Carol Espy-Wilson has formed a startup to capitalize on her research into sound volume for cell phones and other devices.
There is no shortage of real-world problems which lend themselves to creative solutions. Someone on Twitter recently asked why there aren’t black-owned Googles, Facebooks and Groupons.
It isn’t because there aren’t great ideas and great inventions to draw from. At INNOVATION & EQUITY, we host a Patent to Public Parlor where top intellectual property professionals show how to protect creative expression.
There’s no need to continue cursing at the television set, it’s time to change the way we deal with innovation. Join us at INNOVATION & EQUITY: Spurring Manufacturing Through Innovation in Black Communities Jan. 15, 2011 in the historic Lincoln Theatre.

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