Sonia Katyal

  • Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology
    Distinguished Haas Chair
  • Tel: 510-642-2306
  • 586 Simon Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720 MC:7200
  • Faculty Support Contact: Stephanie Dorton

Professor Sonia Katyal’s work focuses on the intersection of technology, intellectual property, and civil rights (including antidiscrimination, privacy, and freedom of speech).

Prof. Katyal’s current projects focus on trademarks and branding; intellectual property and artificial intelligence issues; the intersection between the right to information and human rights; and a variety of projects on the intersection between museums, new media, and repatriation. As a member and chair of the university-wide Haas LGBT Cluster, Professor Katyal also works on matters regarding law, gender and sexuality.

Professor Katyal’s recent publications include The Numerus Clausus of Sex, in the University of Chicago Law Review; Technoheritage, in the California Law Review; Rethinking Private Accountability in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, in the UCLA Law Review; The Paradox of Source Code Secrecy, in the Cornell Law Review; Transparenthood in the Michigan Law Review (with Ilona Turner); Platform Law and the Brand Enterprise in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal (with Leah Chan Grinvald); Trademarks, Artificial Intelligence, and the Role of the Private Sector, also in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal (forthcoming, with Aniket Kesari); and The Artificial Intelligence of Gender, in the UCLA Law Journal (forthcoming) (with Jessica Jung). 

Professor Katyal 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 twice received a Dukeminier Award from the Williams Project at UCLA for her writing on gender and sexuality. Most recently, her article, The Paradox of Source Code Secrecy, was selected for inclusion in the Best Intellectual Property articles of 2019. She has also previously published shorter pieces with the New York Times, the Brooklyn Rail, Washington Post, CNN, Boston Globe’s Ideas section, Hyperallergic, Los Angeles Times, Slate, and the National Law Journal, and has also been cited by the Supreme Court.  

During the Obama administration, 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. 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.


A.B., Brown University (1993)
J.D., University of Chicago Law School (1998)

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