Knobbe Martens Secures Win for German Light and Media Artist in Trademark Opposition Case

IRVINE, Calif., June 6, 2024 - A team from Knobbe Martens successfully represented renowned German artist Christopher Bauder in a trial before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). Knobbe Martens partner Susan Natland, co-chair the of the firm’s trademark and brand protection practice, argued the case at the oral hearing before the TTAB. The team also included Knobbe Martens attorneys Brian Horne, co-chair of the firm’s trademark litigation practice, and Daniel Kiang.

In 2017, Mr. Bauder applied to register his kinetic lights trademarkmark. Kinetic Lighting, Inc., an L.A.-based lighting design and equipment rental business, opposed Mr. Bauder’s application. The opposer contended it owned common-law rights in the mark “KINETIC LIGHTING,” and that consumers would be confused between the parties’ marks.  

Despite opposer’s use of “KINETIC LIGHTING” for over 20 years to market and sell its services, the Knobbe Martens team defeated the opposer’s argument that it had protectable rights in the term. The TTAB found that the opposer’s alleged “KINETIC LIGHTING” mark is highly descriptive of moving lights and related services, and that the opposer had not acquired “secondary meaning” in the term.

A copy of the TTAB’s decision can be found here.

Commenting on the matter, Ms. Natland said, “We are thrilled for our client. This decision allows Mr. Bauder to register his mark and ensures that no company can monopolize this highly descriptive term. It is also a testament to our outstanding team and our continued track record of success before the TTAB.”

About Knobbe Martens

Knobbe Martens is a highly respected intellectual property law firm, offering legal services in all aspects of intellectual property and technology law.  The firm’s litigation group handles cases throughout the U.S. and coordinates strategy for disputes worldwide. Founded in California in 1962, the firm has about 300 lawyers and scientists based in offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.  Knobbe Martens serves a diverse international client base, from multinational corporations to emerging businesses of all stages. More information about the firm can be found at