Sonia Katyal

Position / Title: 
Affiliate Scholar
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Sonia Katyal is the Chancellor's Professor of Law at University of California, Berkeley School of Law and Faculty Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

Professor Katyal joined the Berkeley Law faculty in fall 2015 from Fordham Law School, where she served as the associate dean for research and the Joseph M. McLaughlin Professor of Law.

Her scholarly work focuses on intellectual property, art law, civil rights (including gender, race and sexuality), property theory, and technology/new media. Her past projects have studied the relationship between copyright enforcement and surveillance; the impact of artistic activism on trademark law, commerce and advertising; and the intersection between copyright law and gender with respect to fan-generated works. Katyal also works on issues relating to intellectual property and indigenous people's rights, with a special focus on cultural property and trademark law in the United States and abroad. Her current projects focus on the intersection between technology, internet access and civil/human rights, with a special focus on the right to information, and a variety of projects on the intersection between gender, sexuality, and the commons.

Professor Katyal is the co-author of Property Outlaws (Yale University Press, 2010) (with Eduardo M. Peñalver), which studies the intersection between civil disobedience and innovation in property and intellectual property frameworks. She has won several awards for her work, including an honorable mention in the American Association of Law Schools Scholarly Papers Competition, a Yale Cybercrime Award, and a Dukeminier Award from the Williams Project at UCLA.  She has published with a variety of law reviews, including the Yale Law Journal, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Washington Law Review, Texas Law Review, and the UCLA Law Review, in addition to a variety of other publications, including the New York Times, the Brooklyn Rail, Washington Post, CNN, Boston Globe's Ideas section, Los Angeles Times, Slate, Findlaw, and National Law Journal.  Katyal is also the first law professor to receive a grant through The Creative Capital/ Warhol Foundation for her forthcoming book, Contrabrand, which studies the relationship between art, advertising and trademark and copyright law.  

In March of 2016, Katyal was selected by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to be part of the inaugural U.S. Commerce Department’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors, which will provide recommendations on ways to advance economic growth and opportunity in the digital age.  Katyal also serves as an Affiliate Scholar at Stanford Law's Center for Internet and Society, and also a Fellow at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (YBCA), where she will be part of the 2016 class of artists, activists, and scholars to respond to the question, "Can We Design Freedom?"

Before entering academia, Professor Katyal was an associate specializing in intellectual property litigation in the San Francisco office of Covington & Burling. Professor Katyal also clerked for the Honorable Carlos Moreno (later a California Supreme Court Justice) in the Central District of California and the Honorable Dorothy Nelson in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.