Lateef Mtima named Maine Law Libra Visiting Professor, Summer-Fall 2009

Howard University Professor Lateef Mtima, expert in intellectual property and social justice, has been named the distinguished Libra Visiting Professor at Maine Law, Summer-Fall 2009


The University of Maine School of Law is pleased to name Professor Lateef Mtima of Howard University School of Law as a distinguished Libra Visiting Professor in residence in Maine for the Fall 2009 semester and teaching, as well, in the 2009 Summer term.  Professor Mtima is a dynamic and accomplished scholar, particularly in the fields of intellectual property and social justice, and brings to his academic endeavors a depth of prior experience in a sophisticated practice of law.  He is an excellent teacher and mentor.  Beyond filling curricular needs of the Law School, his visit will have a direct and inspiring impact on our students and faculty and on the wider University community.

Professor Mtima’s visit is pivotal in the anticipated launch of the Maine Law School’s ongoing faculty and student exchange program with Howard University School of Law.  Professor Mtima views his visit here as a means of providing early momentum to this exchange program and is committed to broadening the horizons of students and faculty at both institutions.  We are fortunate to have found such a deep commitment to our joint enterprise from Professor Mtima

Lateef Mtima is Professor of Law and the Founder and Director of the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice at the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. After graduating with honors from Amherst College in 1982, Professor Mtima received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1985, where he was the Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard BlackLetter Journal. Admitted to the New York and Pennsylvania bars, he practiced law with Coudert Brothers in New York and San Francisco from 1985 to 1996, and subsequently was of-counsel to the Philadelphia firm of Klehr, Harrison.

A member of the Howard Law School faculty since 1998, Prof. Mtima teaches and writes in the areas of bankruptcy and debtors and creditors’ rights, commercial law, contracts, torts, and intellectual property law, with emphasis in the latter discipline in the areas of software and Internet issues, and intellectual property as a mechanism for social justice. Prof. Mtima serves as the Chair of the Howard University Intellectual Property Committee, which implements the University’s technology transfer and intellectual property policy, and is also a member of the Advisory Board for the BNA Patent, Trademark, and Copyright Journal, the Editorial Board for the ABA IP Publication Landslide, the ALI-ABA IP Programs Advisory Board, and is the Vice-President and President-Elect of the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court for the Federal Circuit, the nation’s oldest intellectual property inn.

Professor Mtima will in residence as Libra Visiting Professor at the University of Maine School of Law in Portland for the entire Fall 2009 semester, during which he will teach Law School courses and present one or more public lectures or faculty workshop for scholarly exchange.  He also will teach a short course during our 2009 Summer Session.  Professor Mtima will work expressly with us on building our exchange program with Howard University and on reaching out to minority communities in southern Maine.  At this moment of transition in the racial demographics of greater Portland and southern Maine, the University of Maine School of Law is determined to serve as a model for others in building diversity and multicultural understanding. Professor Mtima shares our commitment to this challenge.  He will engage actively in the life of the Law School as a mentor to students and faculty alike and, given is focus on civic engagement, will contribute significantly to the University of Southern Maine community and to constituents beyond the academy.

Selected Publications

  • “So Dark the CON(TU) of Man: The Quest for a Software Derivative Work Right in Section 117”, 69 U. Pitt. L. R. 1 (2008)
  • “Natural Law and Positive Social Utility in the Digital Copyright Age” Ad honorem Ion Dogaru: Studii juridice alese 255 (Editura All Beck, Bucuresti 2005)
  • “Protecting and Licensing Software” Copyright and Common Law Contract Considerations” The Computer & Internet Lawyer, Vol. 22, No. 3, March 2005 at 13
  • “Tasini and Its Progeny: The New Exclusive Right Or Fair Use on the Electronic Publishing Frontier?” 14 Fordham Intell. Property, Media & Ent. L. J. 369 (Winter 2004)
  • “The Road to the Bench: Not Even Good (subliminal) Intentions”, 8 U. Chi. L. Roundtable 135 (2001)
  • “Protecting Non-literal Elements of Computer Programs: Comparing the Approaches of Whelan and Altai”, Intellectual Property Counselor, No. 36, at 2, December 1999
  • “African-American Economic Empowerment Strategies for the New Millennium- Revisiting the Washington-Du Bois Dialectic”, 42 Howard Law Journal 391 (1999).