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Julia Jan Osei-Tutu

Associate Dean for Diversity Culture & InclusionAssociate Director Intellectual Property CertificateProfessor of Law


Education & CV

  • LL.M., McGill University (Montreal, Quebec)
  • J.D., Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario)
  • B.A. (Hons.) University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario)
Curriculum Vitae


  • Comparative & International Law
  • Contract Law
  • Fashion Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Human Rights
  • Property Law



BiographyFaculty Selected ScholarshipNews Items
Professor Osei-Tutu holds an LL.M., with distinction, in International and Comparative Law from McGill University, one of the premier academic institutions in Canada. She wrote her graduate thesis on trade-related intellectual property as it relates to developing countries, and continues to write in this area. Drawing on her academic and practical experiences, Professor Osei-Tutu’s scholarship focuses on the relationship between trade-related intellectual property, human development, human rights, and culture.

She joined academia after several years of intellectual property (IP) practice as Legal Counsel to the Patent & Trademark Office, and the IP Policy Directorate at Industry Canada (USPTO equivalent). In that capacity, Osei-Tutu advised the Canadian government on the IP aspects of certain trade negotiations, as well as IP submissions to international organizations, such as the WIPO and the WTO. In addition, she advised on complex litigation and legislative reform of Canada’s IP laws. Osei-Tutu’s legal experience includes commercial law practice with leading law firms in Canada and Ghana. She also clerked as an Associate Legal Officer for Trial Chamber II at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania. OseiTutu is a member of the bar in New York and Ontario (inactive).

Professor Osei-Tutu was a founding co-Chair of the Junior Intellectual Property Scholars Association (JIPSA), and is an active volunteer with Broward county public schools. She is the current Editor in Chief of the African Journal of Legal Studies, and one of the founding directors of the Center for International Law and Policy in Africa.

Courses: Contract Law, Trademark Law, International Intellectual Property Law, Intellectual Property & Human Rights, and Fashion & Design Law.

Current research projects: intellectual property, natural rights, and human rights; intellectual property and culture; intellectual property, human rights & corporations.

Scholarship & Other Writing:

    • J. Osei-Tutu, “IP, Social Justice & Human Development: Empowering Female Entrepreneurs through Trademark Law,” in The Cambridge Handbook of Intellectual Property And Social Justice, Lateef Mtima and Steven D. Jamar, Eds. (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2021).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, “Not Nike’s Satan Shoes: Is it Trademark Infringement & Dilution? PrawfsBlawg, (March 31, 2021).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, IP and Development in Handbook on Intellectual Property Research, Irene Calboli and Lilla Montagnani, Eds. (Oxford University Press, 2021).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, “IP in the African Union: Opportunities for New Discourse?” in Mapping Three Generations of Access to Medicines Discourses, Sri Ragavan and Amaka Vanni, Eds. (Routledge, 2021).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, Protecting Culturally Identifiable Fashion: What Role for GIs? (invited symposium), 14 FIU L. Rev. 545 (2021).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, “Cultural IP v. Commercial IP,” (reprinted) GPS Solo Magazine, selected for “Best of Sections,” (ABA, July/August 2020).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, “Cultural IP v. Commercial IP,” Landslide Magazine: Culture and Collaboration in Global IP (ABA March/April 2020).
    • J. OseiTutu, Socially Responsible Corporate IP, (invited symposium), 21 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 483 (2019).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, Harmonizing Cultural IP Across Borders, (invited symposium) 51 Akron L. Rev. 1198 (2018).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, Humanizing Intellectual Property, 20 Vand. J. Ent & Tech. L. 207 (2017).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, Human Development as a Core Objective of Global Intellectual Property Law, 105 Kentucky L.J. 1-47 (2016) (lead article).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, Prioritizing Human Development in African Intellectual Property Law, 8 WIPO J. 23-33 (2016).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, Human Development as an Intellectual Property Metric, (invited symposium) 90 St. John’s L. Rev. 711-743 (2016).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, Book Review, “Irene Calboli and Srividhya Ragavan (eds.): Diversity in Intellectual Property ­– Identities, Interests, and Intersections,” International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, 47:8 (Max Planck Institute, 2016), 1-4.
    • J. Osei-Tutu, Agricultural Biotechnology: Drawing on International Law to Promote Progress, 2015 Mich. St. L. Rev. 531 (2015).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, Corporate “Human Rights” to Intellectual Property Protection? 55 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1 (2015) (lead article).