Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice
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Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice

From Swords to Ploughshares

Edited by Lateef Mtima

In the Information Age, historically marginalized groups and developing nations continue to strive for socio-economic empowerment within the global community. Their ultimate success largely depends upon their ability to develop, protect, and exploit their greatest natural resource: intellectual property. Through an exploration of the techniques used in social entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice provides a framework by which historically marginalized communities and developing nations can cooperate with the developed world to establish a socially cohesive global intellectual property order. The knowledgeable contributors discuss, in four parts, topics surrounding entrepreneurship and empowerment, education and advocacy, engagement and activism and, finally, commencement.
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Chapter 6: Lawyers and innovation

Rita S. Heimes


The United States is a nation of vast inequality. Only the most fortunate have access to elite schools and high-paying jobs. Americans in middle and lower economic categories are struggling and falling further behind. Their incomes are stagnating, their educational opportunities are limited, infant mortality rates and teenage pregnancies are higher, literacy rates are lower, and they are more likely to live in single-parent homes. The potential prosperity of American children is more dependent on their parents’ success than in most other developed countries. If these social trends and conditions are permitted to persist, the burden of unproductive and unfulfilled groups and communities will inevitably diminish our nation’s ability to compete in the global economy and otherwise undermine our position as the leader of the democratic capitalist world. It behooves us as a nation, therefore, to help low income and underprivileged citizens become economically self-sufficient and successful. Just as the emergence of the industrial society presented new opportunities for class migration and equalization, the information society also offers novel means by which to close social gaps and inequities, not only to the benefit of those most directly affected but for the benefit of the nation as a whole. One proven means for socio-economic advancement of underprivileged groups and communities is entrepreneurship, including businesses founded on innovation.

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