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J. Janewa Osei Tutu

Associate Professor 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. Janewa OseiTutu, Socially Responsible Corporate IP, Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. (forthcoming, 2019) (symposium).
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, IP and Development in Handbook on Intellectual Property Research, Calboli and Montagnani, eds., Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2019).
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, Harmonizing Cultural IP Across Borders: Fashionable Bags & Ghanaian Adinkra Symbols, 51 Akron L. Rev. 1197, 1228 (2017) (symposium).
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, Humanizing Intellectual Property: Moving Beyond the Natural Rights Property Focus, 20 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 207 (2017).
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, “Using IP Law to Promote Human Flourishing for ‘Market Women’” Landslide Magazine, vol. 10 Issue 4. (2017).
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, Prioritizing Human Development in African Intellectual Property Law, 8 WIPO Jrnl, 23 (2016).
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, in “Irene Calboli and Srividhya Ragavan (eds.): Diversity in Intellectual Property – Identities, Interests, and Intersections,(book review) IIC – International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, (2016), 1-4.
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, Human Development as a Core Objective of Global Intellectual Property, 105 Ky. L.J. 1 (2016).
  • Janewa OseiTutu Human Development as an Intellectual Property Metric, 90 St. John’s L. Rev. 711-743 (2016) Rev. (symposium).
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, Corporate “Human Rights” to Intellectual Property Protection? 55 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1 (2015).
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, Agricultural Biotechnology: Drawing on International Law to Promote Progress, 2015 Mich. St. L. Rev. 531 (2015) (symposium).
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, Private Rights for the Public Good?, 66 S.M.U. L. Rev. 767 (2013).
  • Janewa OseiTutu, Value Divergence in Global Intellectual Property Law, 87 Ind. L. J. 1639 (2012).
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, A Sui Generis Regime for Traditional Knowledge: the Cultural Divide in Intellectual Property Law, 15 Marq. Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 147 (2011) “Emerging Scholars Series.”
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, An International Instrument to Protect Traditional Knowledge: Is Perpetual Protection a Good Idea? 50 IDEA: Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 697 (2010) (solicited); reprinted in the Andean Yearbook of Intellectual Property Rights (2011).
  • J. Janewa OseiTutu, Intellectual Property: a Menace to the Public Domain? 4 Oxford J. Intell. Prop. L. & Prac. 220 (2009); book review of Charlotte Waelde and Hector MacQueen (eds.), Intellectual Property: The Many Faces of Public Domain.