Professor Katyal teaches and writes in the areas of intellectual property, property and civil rights, with a special focus on sexuality and race. Before coming to Fordham, Professor Katyal was an associate specializing in intellectual property litigation in the San Francisco office of Covington & Burling. She received her A.B. from Brown University in 1993, and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1998. After law school, Prof. Katyal clerked for the Honorable Carlos Moreno (later a California Supreme Court Justice) in the Central District of California from 1998-99 and the Honorable Dorothy Nelson in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1999-2000.
Prof. Katyal's scholarly work focuses on intellectual property, civil rights (including gender and sexuality), artistic freedom, advertising, and new media. Her past projects have studied the relationship between copyright enforcement and privacy (as applied to peer-to-peer technology); and the intersection between civil disobedience and innovation in property and intellectual property frameworks. Other projects in the area of gender and sexuality have studied the relationship between law, culture, and international norms regarding sexual orientation and human rights with a special focus on South Asia. In other projects, she has written about the intersection between copyright, gender expression and sexuality with respect to fan-generated works. She also works on issues relating to intellectual property and indigenous people's rights, with a special focus on cultural property in the United States and abroad.
Katyal is also the winner of five awards for her scholarly work: in 2002, her paper, "Exporting Identity," received a Dukeminier Award; in 2004, another paper, "The New Surveillance," won the Yale Cybercrime Award. A third paper, "Semiotic Disobedience," was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2006 Scholarly Papers Competition by the American Association of Law Schools. In 2010, another paper, “Anti-Branding and Stealth Marketing: The Love that Dare Not Speak its Name” was named one of the best articles in the area of entertainment and the arts by Westlaw. In March of 2008, Katyal was awarded a grant from the Warhol Foundation for her second book, Contrabrand, which studies the relationship between art, advertising and intellectual property. Katyal is the first law professor to receive a grant through The Creative Capital/ Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, a program created to support independent, progressive arts publications and individual arts writers.
She also serves as an Affiliate Scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, and has served in a variety of positions for the American Association of Law Schools, including the Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers and also formerly chaired the Sections on Law and Anthropology and Art Law.
Her book (co-authored with Eduardo M. Penalver), Property Outlaws, came out in February 2010 from Yale University Press.