Cathay Y. N. Smith

Professor of Law


Law 208
(406) 243-2503
Curriculum Vitae
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Personal Summary

Professor Smith teaches courses on intellectual property law, property law, and art and cultural property law. Her scholarship focuses on copyright and trademark law, IP theory, art law, and cultural property and heritage law. Over the 2022-23 academic year, Professor Smith was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre at the University of Oxford. She served as co-Acting Dean of the Law School during AY 2021-22 and has served in leadership positions outside of the Law School, including as the 2022 Chair and 2021 Chair-elect of the AALS Section on Intellectual Property. She co-created and co-organizes IP Day in Montana, a full-day conference featuring speakers, panels, and workshops on intellectual property issues.

Before joining the faculty at Montana Law, Professor Smith taught at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law as a teaching fellow, and practiced as an intellectual property attorney in Chicago at Katten.  While in private practice, she represented multinational technology, fashion, and entertainment and media corporations on intellectual property issues and disputes. 


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

Advanced Issues in Intellectual Property Law

Art and Cultural Property Law

Introduction to Intellectual Property Law

Property Law

Race, Social Justice, and Intellectual Property: A Seminar


The Criminally Complicated Copyright Questions About Trump's Mugshot, 76 Stanford Law Review Online 123 (2024)

Rewriting History: Copyright, Free Speech, & Reimagining Classic Works, 69 Villanova Law Review __ (forthcoming 2024)

Editing Classic Books: A Threat to the Public Domain?, 110 Virginia Law Review Online 1 (2024)

(C)ancelling Dr. Seuss, 26 Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law 73 (2023)

Weaponizing Copyright, 35 Harvard Journal of Law & Technology 193 (2022)

Copyright & Memes: The Fight for Success Kid, 110 Georgetown Law Journal Online 142 (2021) (with Stacey Lantagne)

Political Fair Use, 61 William & Mary Law Review 2003 (2021)

Copyright Silencing, 106 Cornell Law Review Online 71 (2021)

Creative Destruction: Copyright's Fair Use Doctrine and the Moral Right of Integrity, 47 Pepperdine Law Review 601 (2020)

Truth, Lies, and Copyright, 20 Nevada Law Journal 201 (2019)

Beware the Slender Man: Intellectual Property and Internet Folklore, 70 Florida Law Review 601 (2018)

Copyright in Culinary Presentations, in Non-Conventional Copyright: Do New and Atypical Works Deserve Protection? (Enrico Bonadio & Nicola Lucchi eds. 128-149) (2018)

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

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)

Street Art: An Analysis Under U.S. Intellectual Property Law and Intellectual Property’s Negative Space Theory, 24 DePaul Journal of Art, Technology, and Intellectual Property Law 259 (2014)

Additional Publications

Roald Dahl, Hugh Lofting, & Dr. Seuss: Exploring Copyright Implications of Revising Classic Children’s Works, CREATe Blog (May 5, 2023)  

From Roald Dahl to Goosebumps, revisions to children’s classics are really about copyright, The Conversation UK (March 7, 2023) 

Food Plating and Trade Dress: Can a Chef Claim Trademark Protection for a Signature Dish?, CARDOZO ART & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL BLOG 75 (April 16, 2015)

“Copyright is for losers©™”: Street Art Flourishes in Intellectual Property’s Negative Space, CARDOZO ART & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL BLOG 49 (June 20, 2014)

Selected Presentations

Roald Dahl, Hugh Lofting, & Dr. Seuss: Exploring Copyright Implications of Revising Classic Children’s Works, University of Glasgow CREATe Public Lecture (May 23, 2023)

Copyrighting Nature, University of Miami School of Law, M3 IP Scholars Workshop (May 19, 2023)

Cancelling Dr. Seuss (& Editing Roald Dahl), University of Oxford, Oxford IP Research Centre Invited Speaker Series at St. Peter’s College (May 4, 2023)

Cancelling Dr. Seuss, Suffolk University School of Law, Works-In-Progress Intellectual Property (February 4, 2023)

Cancelling Dr. Seuss, University of Oxford IP Discussion Group (Jan. 25, 2023)

Copyright & Fair Use, Privacy International (Jan. 24, 2023)

Emerging Voices in IP, AALS IP Section Works-In-Progress Program (Jan. 6, 2023) (organizer)

Why Do Law Professors Hate The Metaverse?, AALS IP Section Main Program (Jan. 6, 2023) (organizer)

The Recorded Classroom, AALS IP Section Pedagogy Program (Jan. 4, 2023) (organizer)

Cancelling Dr. Seuss, Brunel Law School Research Seminar Series (Nov. 28, 2022)

Cancelling Dr. Seuss, MOSAIC IP Conference: Access for All? The Role of IP in Equity, Power, and Democracy in Challenging Times (Oct. 28, 2022)

Weaponizing Copyright, Faculty Workshop, Willamette University College of Law (Nov. 2021)

Copyright & Memes, Willamette University College of Law, Guest Lecture in Internet & Social Media Law Seminar (Oct. 28, 2021)

Moderator, Creativity & Culture, IP Scholars Conference (Aug. 12, 2021)

Laney Griner v. Steve King: Copyright, Memes, and Fair Use, Montana IP Law Section Explorations Series Lecture (June 23, 2021) (with Stacey Lantagne)

Response to Prof. Kali Murray’s “IP as Liberation,” Law Review Annual Lecture, St. Thomas School of Law (April 12, 2021)

Weaponizing Copyright, Interview with Prof. Brian Frye on Ipse Dixit (March 30, 2021)

Food Fight! Copyrightable or Simply Edible?, Evil Twin Debate 2021 (Jan. 2021)

Street Art & the Law, AALS Section on Art Law (Jan. 2021)

Weaponizing Copyright, IP MOSAIC Conference: The Arc is Hot! Using IP to Further Social Justice (Oct. 31, 2020)

Copyright Silencing, University of San Diego Law School, Guest Lecture in Corporate Innovation and Legal Policy Seminar (Oct. 14, 2020)

Political Fair Use, Interview with Prof. Saurabh Vishnubhakat on Ipse Dixit (Sept. 17, 2020)

Fair Use & the Right of Integrity, Interview with Prof. Brian Frye on Ipse Dixit (May 8, 2020)

Political Fair Use, University of Oklahoma College of Law, Faculty Lecture Series (March 5, 2020)

Political Fair Use, Santa Clara Law, WIPIP (Feb. 7, 2020)

Political Fair Use, BYU IP Colloquium (Nov. 14, 2019)

Moral Rights Debate, BYU Copyright & Trademark Symposium, Issues Facing Modern Media Industries (Oct. 10-11, 2019)

Balancing Author's Dignity with Free Expression, Center for Civil and Human Rights at the Gonzaga University School of Law, Furthering Social Justice in the Age of Intellectual Property (Sept. 20, 2019)

Political Fair Use, DePaul University School of Law, IPSC (Aug. 9, 2019)

Political Fair Use, George Washington University Law School, JIPSA (May 29, 2019)

Authorship Agreements with Prof. Cathay Smith, Blewett School of Law Pop-up Faculty Development Workshop (May 7, 2019)

Creative Destruction: Copyright's Fair Use Doctrine and the Moral Right of Integrity, George Washington University Law School, IP Speaker Series (March 27, 2019)

Collaborative Authorship in a Network Society, Santa Clara Law, Internet Law Works-in-Progress (March 2, 2019)

Nonconventional Copyrights, Columbia Law School, Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts (Feb. 5, 2019)

Truth, Lies, and Copyright, William & Mary Law School, Junior IP Scholars Association Workshop (Jan. 25, 2019)

Fair Use and the Moral Right of Integrity, U.C. Berkeley School of Law, IP Scholars Conference (August 10, 2018)

Imagining a Fair Use Defense to VARA, Northwestern University School of Law, Junior IP Scholars Association Workshop (July 25, 2018)

International Intellectual Property Law, New York Law School, Summer London Program (June 4-14, 2018) (visiting faculty)

How Can IP Support Place-based Innovation?, University of Montana InnovateUM (April 25, 2018) (discussion facilitator)

Emerging IP Issues in Indian Country, University of Montana Blewett School of Law (April 11, 2018) (panel moderator)

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

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

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

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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


Chair, AALS IP Section (2022)

Chair-Elect, AALS IP Section (2021)

Elected Member, AALS IP Section Executive Committee (2020)

Inaugural Member, Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Montana

Member, Missoula Art Museum Board of Directors

Member, Illinois State Bar, Colorado State Bar

Admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Ninth Circuit, and Third Circuit; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Honors / Awards

Nancy Borgmann Diversity Award, University of Montana, 2022

Boone Law Faculty Scholarship Award, 2017 & 2021

Howard W. and Jane S. Heman Memorial Law Faculty Award, 2020

Law School Merit Award, 2019