Faculty Directory

Cathay Y. N. Smith

Assistant Professor of Law


Personal Summary

Professor Smith teaches courses on intellectual property law, property law, and art and cultural property law.  Prior to joining the faculty at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law, she taught at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and practiced as an intellectual property attorney in Chicago with the law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.  She has experience representing multinational technology, fashion, and entertainment/media corporations on intellectual property issues and disputes.

Professor Smith received her B.S. with Special Attainments in Commerce from Washington and Lee University, her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and her MSc. in Law, Anthropology and Society from The London School of Economics and Political Science.  Professor Smith is a member of the Illinois Bar and Colorado Bar, and has been admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Third Circuit, and Ninth Circuit.

She serves on the Board of Directors for the Missoula Art Museum (MAM) and is an appointed member of the Public Art Committee for the City of Missoula.  Her scholarship focuses on intellectual and cultural property law. 

Courses Taught

Introduction to Intellectual Property Law

Property Law

Art and Cultural Property Law

Selected Publications

Beware the Slender Man: Intellectual Property and Internet Folklore, 70 Florida Law Review __ (forthcoming 2018)

Oral Tradition and The Kennewick Man, 126 Yale Law Journal Forum 216 (2016)

Community Rights to Public Art, 90 St. John's Law Review 369 (2016)

Food Art: Protecting Food Presentation Under U.S. Intellectual Property Law, 14 John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law 1 (2014) (lead article)

Street Art: An Analysis Under U.S. Intellectual Property Law and Intellectual Property’s Negative Space Theory, 24 DePaul J. of Art, Tech. & Intell. Prop. Law  259 (Spring 2014) (lead article)

Food Plating and Trade Dress: Can A Chef Claim Trademark Protection For A Signature Dish?, Cardozo Art & Entertainment Law Journal Blog, April 16, 2015

“Copyright Is For Losers©™”: Street Art Flourishes In Intellectual Property’s Negative Space, Cardozo Art & Entertainment Law Journal Blog, June 20, 2014


Selected Presentations

Investigating IP in Internet Folklore, Who Owns Tradition? Reconceptualizing the Protection of Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge, Spangenberg Centre on Law, Technology and the Arts, Case Western Reserve University School of Law (Nov. 11, 2016)

The Making of a Monster, By Any Other's Name: A Conference on Law, Authorship and Appropriation, LSU Law Center (Oct. 29)

Art & Intellectual Property, Montana Art Gallery Directors Association (MAGDA) Annual Conference, Chico Hot Springs (Oct. 13, 2016)

Intellectual Property in Internet Folklore, Intellectual Property Scholars Conference, Stanford Law School (Aug. 11-12, 2016)

Trademarks, and Copyrights, and Patents, Oh My!, IP Workshop at the Blackstone LaunchPad at the University of Montana (April 12, 2016)

The Making of a Monster: Investigating Intellectual Property in Internet Folklore, WIPIP, University of Washington School of Law (Feb. 18-19, 2016)

Community Rights to Public Art as Community Cultural Heritage, First Annual Mosaic Conference: Diverse Voices in Intellectual Property Law, Marquette Univeristy Law School (Nov. 14-15, 2014)

Food Art and Intellectual Property Law, “Art Meets Law: The Intersection of Art and Intellectual Property,” The John Marshall Law School Review of Intellectual Property 6th Annual Symposium (Oct. 24, 2014)

Immoral Trademarks, 2014 Trademark Works in Progress, American University Washington College of Law (Oct. 10-11, 2014)