Brent A. Hawkins has more than 20 years of experience litigating intellectual property and other complex commercial disputes for clients in jurisdictions throughout the United States. Throughout his career, Brent has served as lead counsel in numerous patent, trademark, copyright, and complex commercial licensing litigations. Brent has experience across a variety of sectors and industries, with a particular focus on the technology, automotive, fintech, and consumer product sectors.
Brent is a co-leader of the firm’s cross-practice Automotive & Mobility Industry team and has litigated and counseled on patents relating to in-vehicle networked infotainment systems, vehicle location and route guidance software, diesel engines, and fuel injectors. In addition to his automotive and mobility experience, Brent has represented clients in matters concerning patents for audio/video switching and control systems, consumer electronics, thermal printing, houseware goods, furniture systems, orthotic devices, pharmaceutical products, gene therapy technology, power control and supply, semiconductors and integrated circuits, and software, including patented technologies concerning cloud computing, navigation and location software, Internet of Things (IoT), wireless cellular protocols, secured storage, streaming media, and Wi-Fi. Brent also has litigated complex licensing disputes involving software, consumer products, and funded biotechnology.
Brent advises clients in licensing negotiations, including with regard to alleged standard essential patents (SEPs) for wireless and wired technologies, as well as related fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) issues. Brent further applies his patent experience to the transactional realm by working with clients to perform due diligence investigations and render opinions in the sale or acquisition of businesses or targeted business assets involving various technologies.
Utilizing his engineering background, Brent also has prosecuted patent applications across an array of mechanical, electro-mechanical, and software technologies, including patent applications for diesel engine technology, truck body and chassis designs and technologies, automotive braking technology, consumer houseware products, financial transaction and rewards management software, customer relationship management (CRM) software, encryption software, and telephony event detection software.
Brent was appointed to serve on the Magistrate Judge Review Panel in 2013 and the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel in 2012 for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Brent was a partner at another global law firm.
Zebra Technologies in a patent litigation involving Bluetooth Low Energy asset tracking technology in Zebra Technologies Corp. v. OnAsset Intelligence, Inc. (N.D. Tex.)
Zebra Technologies in a patent action involving radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology in Intellectual Tech LLC v. Zebra Technologies Corp. (W.D. Tex.)
Uber Technologies in patent litigation involving route guidance software and systems in Blackbird Tech. v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (D. Del.)
AllGo Systems in patent litigation involving vehicle infotainment interactive audio/video interface systems in Dale Progress Ltd. v. AllGo Systems, Inc. (D. Del.)
Uber Technologies in patent litigation involving route guidance software and systems in Route Guidance Systems LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (D. Del.)
Zebra Technologies in a finding of invalidity of the two asserted patents involving thermal modeling in printer technology, and full dismissal of infringement claims in TPP Tech. v. Zebra Technologies Corp. (D. Del.)
Polycom in patent litigation involving telephone switching technology using a networking protocol for sending the programming language code to a client in Wave Linx LLC v. Polycom, Inc. (D. Del.)
Steelcase in patent litigation involving seven utility and design patents directed to office furniture and furniture systems in Steelcase, Inc. v. Haskell Office LLC (W.D. Mich.)
Polycom in patent litigation involving Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology in audio technology in ChriMar Systems, Inc. v. Polycom, Inc. (W.D. Tex.)
Panduit and Synapsense in obtaining a finding of invalidity and full dismissal of patent infringement claims asserted against defendants’ wireless monitoring and cooling control network systems in Groundswell Technologies, Inc. v. Synapsense Corp. & Panduit Corp. (C.D. Cal.)
Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy in a licensing dispute involving medical research funding agreements relating to the development of gene therapy technology in Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy v. Nationwide Children's Hospital, et al. (N.D. Ill.)
Harman International in patent litigation involving PoE technology in ChriMar Systems, Inc. v. AMX LLC (E.D. Tex.)
Tolmar in Hatch-Waxman litigation involving Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) for topical pharmaceutical products, Dovonex® and Taclonex® in Leo Pharma A/S v. Tolmar, Inc. (D. Del.)
Tolmar in Hatch-Waxman litigation ANDAs for topical pharmaceutical product, Solaraze® in Fougera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Tolmar, Inc. (D.N.J.)
Redfin in patent litigation involving an online real estate transaction system in Property Disclosure Technologies v. Redfin Corp. (E.D. Tex.)
World Kitchen in obtaining summary judgment of noninfringement and no breach of contract on claims brought by the plaintiff; prevailed on the breach of contract counterclaim brought by defendant in Spoilage Cutter Co. v. World Kitchen, LLC (N.D. Ill.)
Trademark and Copyright Litigation
Zebra Technologies in trademark litigation involving defendant’s use of plaintiff’s mark in connection with products sold into the healthcare and health services industries in Zebra Technologies Corp. v. Zebra Medical Vision (N.D. Ill.)
PUMA North America in trademark infringement suit in which In-N-Out Burgers alleged that PUMA infringed federal registered trademarks covering its palm tree logo and other design elements through PUMA’s Cali-O Drive Thru and California Drive Thru athletic shoes in In-N-Out Burgers v. PUMA North America Inc. et al. (C.D. Cal.)
North Coast Brewing Co. in right of publicity and trademark litigation brought against brewery by estate of jazz musician for use of musician’s likeness in connection with beer products, a percentage of the proceeds of which were donated to the musician’s charitable foundation in Estate of Thelonious Sphere Monk v. North Coast Brewing Co., Inc. (N.D. Cal.)
Lee Brett in trademark infringement suit brought against defendant for his use of mark in connection with billiards operations and billiards instructions in LFP IP, LLC v. Lee Keith Brett (C.D. Cal.)
Jesus Muhammed Ali in copyright infringement action involving defendant’s lithographic reproduction of plaintiff’s paintings in Ali v. Final Call, Inc. (N.D. Ill.)
Roberto Cavalli and retailers in Lanham Act and copyright claims in connection with high-end fashion apparel in Jason Williams et al. v. Roberto Cavalli, S.p.A. et al. (C.D. Cal.)
Grecian Delight Foods in trademark infringement suit brought against defendant for its use of mark in connection with food products in Grecian Delight Foods, Inc. v. Litehouse, Inc. (N.D. Ill.)
Namasté Laboratories in trademark and copyright infringement suit arising from defendant’s distribution of organic hair care products in Namasté Laboratories, LLC v. ASNC Sales & Marketing et al. (S.D. Fla.)
World Kitchen in trade dress and counterfeiting action involving consumer houseware products in World Kitchen, LLC, et al. v. Big Lots, Inc., et al. (N.D. Ill.)
CPI in trademark infringement suit involving a major photography studio chain brand name in Picture Me Press, LLC v. CPI Corp. et al. (N.D. Ohio)
Springline Architects and homeowners in obtaining summary judgment on behalf of the defendants in a copyright suit involving luxury residential architectural designs; the decision of the district court was affirmed by the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Barefoot Architecture, Inc. v. Bunge, et al. (D. Virgin Islands)
Livoti AIA in copyright infringement action involving commercial architectural designs for regional bank structures in Livoti v. Minotola National Bank, et al. (D.N.J.)
University of Illinois College of Law, 1997, J.D.
University of Michigan, 1994, B.S., Engineering
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
US District Court for the Central District of Illinois
US District Court for the Northern District of California
US District Court for the Central District of California
US District Court for the Southern District of California
US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
US District Court for the Western District of Michigan
US Patent and Trademark Office
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Intellectual Property, Law360 (2019)
Member, Litigation Department of the Year–Intellectual Property, The American Lawyer (2019)
Recognized, Trademark Law, San Francisco, The Best Lawyers in America (2020)
Recognized, Litigation – Intellectual Property, San Francisco; Litigation – Patent, San Francisco; Patent Law, San Francisco, The Best Lawyers in America (2011–2020)
Recommended, Intellectual property: Patents: licensing, The Legal 500 US (2019)
Recommended, Intellectual property: Patents: litigation (full coverage), The Legal 500 US (2019)
Recommended, Intellectual property: Patents: prosecution (including re-examination and post-grant proceedings), The Legal 500 US (2019)
Ranked, Intellectual Property: Patent, California, Chambers USA (2013–2019)
Recognized, IAM Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Professionals (2014–2020)
Vice President, Board of Directors, Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc.
Chairman, The Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms (2013–2015)
President, Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC) (2013–2014)
Member, Richard Linn American Inn of Court
Member, American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
Member, International Trademark Association (INTA)