Select Page

J. Janewa Osei-Tutu

Associate DeanProfessor 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 Jan Osei-Tutu is an Associate Dean and Professor of Law. She has published widely on international intellectual property law, with a focus on cultural intellectual property, human rights, and human development. She holds degrees from the premier academic institutions in Canada. Osei-Tutu holds an LL.M., with distinction, in International and Comparative Law from McGill Law, a J.D. from Queen’s Law, and a B.A.(Hons) from the University of Toronto. She is a member of the Ontario bar and the New York bar.

Osei-Tutu is passionate about the role of intellectual property law in society. Drawing on her academic and professional experience, Professor Osei-Tutu’s scholarship focuses on the relationship between trade-related intellectual property, human development, human rights, and cultural identities. She wrote her graduate thesis on trade-related intellectual property and developing countries. She continues to write in this area. She joined academia after practicing as an intellectual property Legal Counsel to the Patent & Trademark Office, and to the intellectual property Policy Directorate at Industry Canada (USPTO equivalent). In that capacity Osei-Tutu advised the Canadian government on various intellectual property aspects of trade negotiations, and on formal submissions to international organizations, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization. Her role included advising on Canada’s patent law, trademark litigation, geographical indications, and traditional and indigenous knowledge. She also advised on complex litigation and legislative reform of Canada’s intellectual property laws. In addition, Osei-Tutu’s legal experience includes commercial law experience with leading law firms in Canada and Ghana, West Africa. Osei-Tutu also clerked in international law as an Associate Legal Officer for Trial Chamber II at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania.

Active in various organizations, Professor Osei-Tutu serves as the 2023-2024 Chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Association of American Law Schools, a member of the American Branch of the International Law Association Committee on International Intellectual Property, and a member of the Brands for a Better Society Committee of the International Trademark Association. In 2013, she co-founded the Junior Intellectual Property Scholars Association (JIPSA) to create an inclusive space for new scholars in intellectual property to exchange scholarly ideas, share experiences, and build support networks. At FIU Law, she co-founded the Intellectual Property Certificate program in 2013.

Osei-Tutu is the Editor in Chief of the African Journal of Legal Studies, an interdisciplinary human rights journal published by Brill/Martinus Nijhoff, and serves on the Editorial Board of the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal.

Courses: Property Law, Trademark Law, Fashion & Design Law International Intellectual Property Law, Intellectual Property seminars.

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

Scholarship & Other Writing:

    • J. Osei-Tutu, “Intellectual Property for Poverty Reduction, SDG1,” ELGAR COMPANION ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS, Bita Amani, Caroline Ncube, Matthew Rimmer, Eds., (Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2023)
    • 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 2023)
    • J. Osei-Tutu, “The Next 100 Years of International Intellectual Property: Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights,” 41 Cardozo Arts. & Ent. L.J. 433 (2023)
    • 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, SYMPOSIUM: INTERNATIONAL TRADE’S EFFECTS ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND HUMAN RIGHTS, 21 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 483 (2019).
    • J. Osei-Tutu, Symposium: Harmonizing Cultural IP Across Borders, (invited) 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).