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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.  Her scholarship focuses copyright and trademark law, IP theory, art law, and cultural property and heritage law.  In 2017, she was awarded the Boone Faculty Scholarship Award for her scholarship.  Outside of the Law School, Prof. Smith 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. 

Prior to joining the faculty at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law, Professor Smith 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.  While in practice, Professor Smith represented multinational technology, fashion, and entertainment and media corporations on intellectual property issues and disputes.  Her representative published decisions include Kinbook LLC v. Microsoft Corp., 866 F.Supp.2d 453 (E.D.Pa. 2012) (aff'd 2013 WL 116516 (3d Cir. 2013) (summary judgment in trademark infringement case); James Braddock v. Angelina Jolie, 103 U.S.P.Q.2d 1344 (N.D.Ill. 2012) (copyright case involving the movie In the Land of Blood and Honey); PODS Enterprises, Inc. v. ABF Freight System, Inc., 100 U.S.P.Q.2d 1708 (M.D.Fla. 2011) (trademark case involving PODS); Facebook Inc. v. Various Inc., 99 U.S.P.Q.2d 1300 (N.D.Cal. 2011) (trademark case involving FACEBOOK); Arcadia Group Brands Ltd. v. Studio Moderna SA, 99 U.S.P.Q.2d 1134 (T.T.A.B. January 6, 2011) (trademark case involving TOPSHOP); Penthouse Digital Media Productions, Inc. v. Cloudstreet Inc., 98 U.S.P.Q.2d 1496 (T.T.A.B. 2010) (immoral/scandalous trademark case); Roxbury Entertainment v. Penthouse Media Group, Inc., 669 F.Supp.2d 1170 (C.D.Cal. 2009) (trademark infringement case involving ROUTE 66 and the First Amendment); Roxbury Entertainment v. Penthouse Media Group, Inc., 91 U.S.P.Q.2d 1173 (C.D.Cal. 2009); Bausch & Lomb Incorporated v. Karl Storz GmbH & Co. KG, 87 U.S.P.Q.2d 1526 (T.T.A.B. May 28, 2008).


B.S. with Special Attainments in Commerce, Washington and Lee University

J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law

MSc. in Law, Anthropology and Society, The London School of Economics and Political Science. 

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 (draft), 70 Florida Law Review __ (forthcoming 2018)

Squeeze Blood from Turnip(r): Abusing Trademark Law's Morality Provision in the TTAB, 65 UCLA Law Review Discourse 88 (2017)

Copyright in Culinary Presentations, in Unconventional Copyright (Enrico Bonadio & Nicola Lucchi eds.) (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

Writing IP with Cathay Smith, Tulane Law School IP Seminar Guest Lecture Series (October 3, 2017) (invited)

Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands and Samsung v. Apple (panelist), Chicago-Kent College of Law, 8th Annual Supreme Court IP Review (September 28, 2017) (invited)

Defining the Boundaries of Factual Estoppel in Copyright Law, Cardozo Law School, Intellectual Property Scholars Conference (August 10-11, 2017)

Factual Estoppel, Gonzaga University School of Law, Junior IP Scholars Workshop (June 2-3, 2017)

IP Day in Montana, University of Montana Blewett School of Law (March 16, 2017) (co-organizer)

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

The Making of a Monster, LSU Law Center, By Any Other's Name: A Conference on Law, Authorship and Appropriation (Oct. 29, 2016)

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

Intellectual Property in Internet Folklore, Stanford Law School, Intellectual Property Scholars Conference (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) (invited)

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

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

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

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


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.