IP Day in Montana


The organizers of IP Day in Montana are committed to continuing their mission of bringing free intellectual property education to students, businesses and the Montana community.  

The next IP Day in Montana will be taking place on Friday, March 8, 2024 at the Blewett School of Law at the University of Montana.

The keynote speaker will be Jacob Rooksby, Smithmoore P. Myers Dean of Gonzaga University School of Law. Dean Rooksby will be presenting themes from his book, The Branding of the American Mind: How Universities Capture, Manage, and Monetize Intellectual Property and Why It Matters (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016).  

IP Day in Montana is a partnership between the Blewett School of Law and the IPL Section of the Montana Bar.  Beginning in 2017, organizers Sarah J. Rhoades and Prof. Cathay Smith have built programming featuring intellectual property. Each year IP Day in Montana is hosted at the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law in Missoula, Montana. Past themes have included:  IP for Start-Ups, Protecting Innovations in Business, and Ownership and Litigation of Ideas. 

This event is free to the general public, while legal professionals seeking CLE credits have paid a nominal fee.  For more information, email us.

Meet the Organizers

Cathay Smith

Prof. 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, Prof. 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, Prof. 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).

Sarah RhoadesSarah is the co-organizer of the first and second installments of IP Day in Montana. She is a founding member and inaugural chair of the IPL Section of the State Bar of Montana. As part of her ongoing efforts and initiatives as past-chair, Sarah organizes an Explorations Series featuring educational and professional development opportunities for Montana IP attorneys.

Now entering her 17th year of IP practice in Montana, Sarah assists clients in securing and enforcing their intellectual property rights in the U.S. and international jurisdictions. Sarah counsels clients on developing strategies for protecting their IP assets and then represents them in patent, copyright, trademark, trade dress, trade secret and related business matters. She also provides IP-related contract preparation and licensing services. She is admitted to practice in the State Courts of Montana, the Federal Courts for the District of Montana and United States Tax Court and is a Registered Patent Attorney. Sarah has served as counsel in trials and hearings in State and Federal Courts around the state, particularly serving as co-counsel with Michael Sherwood on many, varied criminal jury trials.

Sarah has presented a number of continuing legal education seminars including Trademark Year in Review for Washington State Bar CLE at Gonzaga Intellectual Property Association and at the Inland Empire Intellectual Property Institute (IEIPI). She also served as a member of the IEIPI panel entitled "Representing Small to Medium Size Trademark Clients: Issues, Advice and Useful Suggestions." Sarah is a member of American Intellectual Property Law Association, the American Bar Association, the ABA Intellectual Property Law Section and the Western Montana Bar Association.


DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Missoula - Edgewater
100 Madison Street
Missoula, Montana 59802
(406) 728-3100

Reservations can be made by calling
(406) 542-4611 or via email at

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Residence Inn by Marriott Missoula Downtown

Residence Inn by Marriott Missoula Downtown
125 North Pattee Street
Missoula, Montana 59802
(406) 542-6252 

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A parking permit or guest pass is required to park on the UM campus throughout the year, Monday - Friday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Daily parking passes for visitors to the University, available for $8.00, are sold at University Police, University Center Bookstore and Info Desk, the Treasury Office in the Lommasson Center, and the cashier’s window at Missoula College. More information, including a map of parking lots around campus and transportation alternatives, can be found at UM's Visitor Parking Page. View a map of the parking lot and law school entrances here. Parking Lot P is the closest lot to the law school.