Susan Natland advises on all aspects of domestic and international brand protection and enforcement, advertising law, unfair competition, copyright, and data privacy and security matters. By investing the necessary time to understanding her client’s business and specific goals, Susan delivers solutions that maximize efficiencies and opportunities. Responsive, accountable and results-oriented, Susan is dedicated to serving as both a trusted legal and business advisor.
Susan is Co-Chair of the firm’s Trademark and Brand Protection Group. Her practice includes domestic and foreign trademark selection and clearance, trademark procurement and prosecution, ex parte and inter partes proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), trademark audits, licensing, domain name disputes, counterfeit goods and customs, copyrights, entertainment law, rights of publicity, and trademark and copyright enforcement and litigation. A hands-on advocate for her client’s rights, Susan has even personally attended raids of counterfeit goods warehouses in China.
Chair of the firm’s Data Privacy and Security Group and a certified data privacy specialist by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, Susan also offers clients honed skill in advising on data privacy and data security compliance and procedure, data breach response, online privacy, mobile privacy, advertising and promotions, and social media. Susan is also a registered patent attorney.
Notably, Susan worked as a virtual in-house trademark counsel for a major Internet retailer for nearly two years. This experience allowed her to take an active role in business decisions and provided her with insight into business drivers and concerns.
Susan represents clients that range from fast-growth, emerging companies to established brands in a variety of industries, such as entertainment, fashion and apparel, food and beverage, automotive, cosmetics, healthcare, medical and dental, financial, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, e-commerce and direct sale retail, toys, and sports and entertainment. A sampling of her clients are 21st Century Fox, Broadcom Corporation, Urban Decay Cosmetics (L'Oreal), Arbonne International, Kate Spade New York, St. John Knits, Chico's, White House Black Market, First American Financial Corporation, Public Storage, Nobel Biocare, Mazda North America, and TCL Communication Technology.
Recipient of the Lexology “Client Choice” award (exclusively based on client input) multiple times and repeatedly voted as one of the top trademark lawyers in the country by a variety of business and legal publications, Susan has earned her reputation as a consummate professional that is also a fierce advocate for her clients. Notably, Susan takes the time to learn about her client’s business, the key players involved, and the market in which they operate. In return, Susan’s clients value her integrity and work ethic, and that she is a talented lawyer and proven strategist that balances complex legal issues with pragmatic business considerations.
Susan serves on Knobbe Martens Executive Committee and is also a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee, as well as a contributor to the firm's Fashion Blog. Susan is also an adjunct professor at UCLA School of Law, teaching Trademark Law, and is Guest Lecturer at UCI School of Law and Chapman School of Law (Music and Entertainment Law). Susan is also active in the local business community and has volunteered for the Los Angeles Downtown Women's Center and Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce. Moreover, she participates in many local charitable events such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Public Law Center, and SIMA (Surfing Industry Manufacturers Association). Susan is also a Brand Ambassador for her client BEEK.
- Honorable Judge John T. Noonan, Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Susan has received multiple awards and has been honored in both national and international forums for her legal accomplishments:
- Named in Legal Media Group's (LMG) "Women in Business Law" guide from 2014 to 2016 and 2019.
- Recognized in The Legal 500 "United States 2015 and 2019" as being an outstanding practitioner. In this guide, she was noted for providing strategic protection, branding and enforcement advice to domestic and international brands, such as Urban Decay, Kate Spade New York and Arbonne.
- Named in Managing IP's prestigious "Top 250 Women in IP" international list in 2019.
- Recognized as a Trademark Star in Managing IP's "IP STARS" guide for her outstanding intellectual property legal work in 2019 and 2018.
- Recognized by World IP Review (WIPR) as one of the 80 Most Influential Women in IP worldwide in 2019.
- Selected in 2018, 2017 and 2014 as the exclusive winner of the "Client Choice Award" in the Intellectual Property: Trademarks, California category by International Law Office (ILO). Uniquely, the Client Choice Awards are based solely on nominations and feedback from corporate in-house counsel.
- Recognized in the World Trademark Review (WTR) 1000 as a "Leading Trademark Lawyer" from 2012 to 2019. In 2017, she was commended for her work with Broadcom in connection with its purchase by Avago Technologies for $37 billion - one of the largest tech deals ever and was praised for "constantly remaining professional, while fighting hard and fair". In the 2018 WTR 1000 guide, editors praised her "sensible and judicious approach" after taking on the role of lead trademark counsel after the Avago-Broadcom acquisition. In the 2019 guide, editors described her as "an eminent all-rounder" and "has a glowing reputation in the fashion and entertainment industries".
- Recognized as one of the "Top 50 Most Powerful Women Technology," from California Diversity Council in 2017.
- Recognized as one of the "Top 50 Women Lawyers in California," from Top 50 Women Lawyers.org in 2017.
- Named to the 2017 - 2019 lists of "Southern California Super Lawyers" for her work in intellectual property law by Super Lawyers magazine. She has repeatedly been selected as a “Super Lawyer” in a survey of her peers since 2011. From 2013 to 2016, she was also named one of the "Top Women Attorneys" in Southern California.
- Named to the 2016 and 2017 Daily Journal list of "Top IP Lawyers in California".
- Named in the 2017 "Top Women Lawyer" list highlighting Susan as an influencer and achiever for her impact in the technology industry by the California Diversity Council.
- Recognized in the 2016 "Who's Who Legal: Trademarks" list as one of the most highly regarded individuals on the West Coast in the U.S. She ranks among the very elite of US practitioners in Who's Who Legal research and was widely regarded as a "brand enforcement superstar" by her peers.
- Recognized in Law Business Research's 2015 and 2016 "Who's Who Legal 100".
- Named a 2016 "World IP Leader" by World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR).
- Named a "Top Attorney in Orange County" by Orange Coast Magazine for her professional achievement in 2016.
- Named "Best in Trademark" in Legal Media Group's (LMG) 2015 "Americas Women in Business Law Awards".
- Recognized as a leading Trademark Law practitioner in Legal Media Group's (LMG) "Guide to the World's Leading Trademark Law Practitioners" in 2014.
- Named one of Orange County’s top lawyers by OC Metro magazine in the categories of copyright law and intellectual property law (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013).
- Named one of the top trademark attorneys in California, based on a comprehensive survey of both general counsel and private practice lawyers, in the Law Business Research "Who’s Who Legal: California" and one of the top trademark attorneys in the world in the "Who's Who Legal: Trademarks" which referred to her as a “real trademark specialist" (2008 - 2019).
- Nominated for the Orange County Business Journal Annual Women in Business Award (2006).
- Named as one of Southern California’s “Rising Stars” in intellectual property law, based on survey of her peers, in Los Angeles Magazine and Super Lawyers Magazine (2005).
How High Court May Resolve Generic'.Com' TM Issue, Law360, November 2019
No Place To Hide – The Effect of a Data Breach on Brand Value, Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP Blog, August 2019
"Adidas v Skechers: was a preliminary injunction proper?," World Trademark Review, June 2018
GDPR: Ready for the EU's New Data Privacy Law? What You Need to Know, Knobbe Martens Firm Alert, January 2018
"No likelihood of confusion between chevron marks," World Trademark Review, November 2017
"What's in a name? TTAB refuses registration of OLIN mark," World Trademark Review, October 2017
"The Battle of the Earnhardts," World Trademark Review, September 2017
"Likelihood of Confusion Vaporised in Beauty Industry Case," World Trademark Review, July 2017
"MillersCoors Hops to Victory Using Effective Disclaimers," World Trademark Review, June 2017
A New Direction? Data Privacy and the FTC, Intellectual Property Magazine, March 2017
Grey market Abbott goods deemed infringing, World Trademark Review, January 2017
Permanent injunction results in lack of standing, World Trademark Review, October 2016
Amazon's clear labelling defeats MTM trademark claims, World Trademark Review, April 2016
When the cost of default is $1.2 million, World Trademark Review, February 2016
Alert: California and the EU’s Changing Privacy Laws, December 2015
GoDaddy victorious in dispute over OSCARS and ACADEMY AWARDS marks, World Trademark Review, September 2015
Nuisance Repeat Filing Resolution: An Interview with the Enforcement Committee, INTA Bulletin, April 2015
Tacking isn't tacky - narrow doctrine saves defendant, World Trademark Review, January 2014
SPI in high spirits after suit against STOLI marks is dismissed for lack of standing, World Trademark Review, September 2013
No shades of grey: TTAB finds "white" deceptive for black tea, World Trademark Review, April 2013
Madrid Protocol registrations not insulated from petition to cancel based on abandonment, World Trademark Review, October 2012
Advertising at the Olympics - Let the Games Begin!, Convergence (an International Bar Association publication), Orange County Business Journal and Law360, July 2012
Ninth Circuit recognizes protectable trade dress for skull-shaped vodka bottle, World Trademark Review, June 2012
Time to Review – Achieving Best Practices in Trademark Audits, World Trademark Review, March 2012
Mark for Coffee House Likely to Cause Confusion with Coffee Certification Mark, World Trademark Review, March 2012
Nearly $300,000 awarded to plaintiff in keyword case against competitor, World Trademark Review, February 2011
Eighth Circuit: actual confusion is not a prerequisite to monetary relief, World Trademark Review, January 2011
Common U.S. Marines Slogan Remains in Public Domain, World Trademark Review, October 2010
Use of Identical Mark is Circumstantial Evidence of Dilution, World Trademark Review, July 2010
A TTAB Finds Mark Disparaging For Use with Wine, World Trademark Review, April 2010
Plaintiff Has Its Cake, May Not Eat It Too, World Trademark Review, December 2009
Trademark “Squatter” Enjoined From Using JAPONAIS Mark, World Trademark Review, September 2009
Eight-year delay bars claim that REDSKINS mark disparages Native American, World Trademark Review, July 2009
Heartbrand beefs with Yahoo!, World Trademark Review, May 2009
Hershey Garners Sweet Victory Against Furniture Company, World Trademark Review, December 2008
Hobbit Sleeps on Rights, Says Court, World Trademark Review, August 2008
Google’s Motion to Dismiss AdSense Complaint Rejected, World Trademark Law Report, July 2008
Focus on Fraud: Still Treacherous Territory in the U.S., INTA Bulletin, June 2008
The Importance of Trademark Audits, INTA Bulletin, March 2008
HOT WHEELS summary judgment spins out in Ninth, World Trademark Law Report, 2007
TTAB applies more lenient Section 2(d) test in FIRST NIAGARA, World Trademark Law Report, July 2007
Trademark Management: The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth, World Trademark Review, April 2007
Jonathan Livingston Seagull Claims Survive Summary Judgment Motion, World Trademark Law Report, April 11, 2007
Trademark Audits – what you need to know, World Trademark Review, May 2006
Speeches & Seminars
Ready, Set, Go! A Practical Approach to CCPA Compliance, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2019)
How To Not Strike Out With The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Knobbe Martens Webinar (June 2019)
Cost of a Data Breach and Affect on Brand Value, International Trademark Association Annual (INTA) Meeting (2019)
Data Privacy California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, SoCal IT Roundtable (March 2019)
How Not to Strike Out with the CCPA, Private Event (March 2019)
Top Ten IP Issues and Trends, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (January 2019)
Knobbe Data Privacy Seminar, SD (October 2018)
Trademarks Meets Marketing, Meets Advertising and Find Data Privacy Lurking Behind the Door, INTA TMAP Conference (September 2018)
Conducting Ethical Trademark Investigations, INTA TMAP Conference (September 2018)
The Complex World of Data Privacy and Security in the Medical Space, DeviceAlliance and Knobbe Martens Seminar (August 2018)
Trademark Protection in China, Managing Intellectual Property Global Trademark Forum (March 2018)
GDPR, Data Breaches & Federal Agency Actions, Knobbe Martens Data Privacy Seminar (March 2018)
Data Privacy - What Keeps In-House Counsel Up at Night, Association of Corporate Counsel (January 2018)
Implications with the Use of Mobile Devices in the Health Care Industry, New York State Bar Association Fall Meeting (October 2017)
Trademarks, Data Protection, and the FTC - OH MY, International Trademark Association Annual (INTA) Meeting (2017)
The Social Network: Key IP Concerns in Social Media, Automobile Club of Southern California (May 2017)
Keys to Creating, Protecting and Ethically Enforcing Brands, Filipino Lawyers of Orange County (FLOC) CLE Event (2017)
The Future of the Law, Chapman School of Law (Chapman Law Review Symposium) (2017)
"What We've Got Here is a Failure to Communicate" – False Advertising in the Social Media Space, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2016)
War Games: Recent IP Litigation, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2015)
Guest Lecturer, Chapman School of Law (Music and Entertainment Law) (2015)
Panelist, Chapman Entertainment and Sports Law Symposium, Chapman Law School (2015)
The Intersection of False Advertising Claims and the FDCA, OCBA Entertainment and Sports Section (2015)
Scams, Schemes, and Spoofs: Online Brand Protection, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2015)
The Intersection of False Advertising Claims and the FDCA, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2014)
The Intersection of False Advertising Claims and the FDCA, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2014)
Avoiding False Advertising & Unfair Competition, IP Impact Silicon Valley - Trademark Seminar (2013)
Financing of Litigation in Trademark Actions, International Trademark Association (INTA) Annual Meeting (2013)
Silver Linings Playbook: Best Practices in Trademark Clearance and Selection, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2013)
Swimming with Piranhas: Avoiding Trade Secret Misappropriation, False Advertising & Unfair Competition Claims, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2013)
Soarin' Over Your Trademarks: Keys to Monetizing Your Brands, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2012)
Navigating the Murky Waters of the New Top Level Domain Name Launch, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2012)
Trademark and Copyright Clearance Scenarios: A Lawyer's Day at the Happiest Place on Earth.... Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2011)
Trademarks in Sports: Ambush Marketing, International Trademark Association (INTA) Annual Meeting (2011)
Keywords and Trademarks, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) (2010)