Brent A. Hawkins has more than 25 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. He is the managing partner of the firm’s 120-lawyer San Francisco office.
Brent also 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, 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 those relating 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 has previously served on both the Magistrate Judge Review Selection Panels for the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He also has served on the Seventh Circuit Pattern Civil Jury Instructions Committee for trademark and copyright cases.
Defending a leading manufacturer of wireless asset tracking technologies in a patent litigation in the Western District of Texas in which the plaintiff asserts infringement of four patents allegedly directed to radio-frequency identification (RFID) interrogators and methods for interrogating RFID objects
Successfully represented a research institution in a lawsuit it brought in the Western District of Pennsylvania, in which the client alleged patent infringement, breach of contract and misappropriation against its former licensees responsible for developing and exploiting technology relating to systems for treating insomnia
Representing a leading manufacturer of wireless asset tracking technologies in a patent litigation in the Northern District of Texas (Dallas) in which it alleges that the defendant infringes patents directed to Bluetooth Low Energy asset tracking technology
Successfully obtained summary judgment and dismissal of an action against a leading manufacturer of wireless asset tracking technologies in a patent litigation in the Western District of Texas in which the plaintiff asserted infringement of a patent allegedly directed to use of RFID technology concurrently with a second wireless technology
Represented a mobility technology company in a pair of patent infringement actions, each brought in the District of Delaware, in which the plaintiffs in both cases alleged that use of our client’s mobile application and platform infringed patents directed to route guidance software and systems
Obtained dismissal of complaint brought in the District of Delaware against our client, a global manufacturer and supplier of vehicle infotainment interactive audio/video interface systems
Successfully defended a leading manufacturer of wireless asset tracking technologies in a patent litigation in the District of Delaware by obtaining a finding of invalidity of the two asserted patents involving thermal modeling in printer technology, and full dismissal of infringement claims
Represented a leading manufacturer of video and voice communication technology in the Western District of Texas in a patent litigation involving telephone switching technology using a networking protocol for sending the programming language code to a client server
Represented a leading global manufacturer of furniture and space solutions for offices, hospitals, classrooms, and residential interiors in a patent litigation in the Western District of Michigan, in which our client alleged that a competitor infringed seven utility and design patents directed to office furniture and furniture systems
Represented a leading manufacturer of video and voice communication technology in the Western District of Texas in patent litigation involving Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology in audio conferencing technology
Successfully represented a manufacturer of wireless instrumentation hardware and its subsidiary in patent litigation in the Central District of California, in which we obtained a finding of invalidity and full dismissal of patent infringement claims asserted against our client’s wireless monitoring and cooling control network systems
Represented a manufacturer of video switching and control devices in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas involving PoE technology, in which we successfully argued several Daubert motions that ultimately limited the plaintiff’s expert’s damages theories
Represented a specialty pharmaceutical manufacturer in Hatch-Waxman litigation in the District of Delaware involving Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) for the topical pharmaceutical products, Dovonex and Taclonex
Represented a specialty pharmaceutical manufacturer in Hatch-Waxman litigation in the District of Delaware involving an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for the topical pharmaceutical product, Solaraze
Represented a residential real estate brokerage in patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas, in which the plaintiffs accused our client of infringing patents directed to online real estate transaction systems
Obtained summary judgment of noninfringement and no breach of contract on claims brought against a leading housewares manufacturer in the Northern District of Illinois, and also prevailed on a breach of contract counterclaim brought by our client against the plaintiffs
Trademark and Copyright Litigation
Successfully defended Uber Technologies Inc. and Uber Freight in a trademark infringement action brought in the District of Utah in Freightlink v. Uber Freight Link
Represented Turtle Beach in a trademark infringement action it brought against Neatframe Inc. in the District of Delaware alleging infringement of Turtle Beach’s NEAT trademarks in Voyetra Turtle Beach Inc. v. Neatframe Inc.
Defending Jobot LLC in trademark litigation involving its use of marks purportedly owned by plaintiffs on Jobot’s information website pulled from a biographical website in Aerotek, Inc. v. Jobot LLC et al.
Represented Zebra Technologies in trademark litigation in the Northern District of Illinois 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
Defended PUMA North America in trademark infringement suit in the Central District of California 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.
Represented North Coast Brewing Co. in right of publicity and trademark litigation brought in the Northern District of California against brewery by the estate of a jazz musician for use of the 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.
Defended Lee Brett in trademark infringement suit brought in the Central District of California for his use of mark in connection with billiards operations and billiards instructions in LFP IP LLC v. Lee Keith Brett.
Successfully prosecuted Jesus Muhammed Ali’s copyright infringement claims in the Northern District of Illinois asserting that the defendant’s made unauthorized lithographic reproduction of our client’s paintings in Ali v. Final Call Inc.
Represented Grecian Delight Foods in a trademark infringement suit brought in Northern District of Illinois for defendant’s use of certain marks in connection with food products that infringed our client’s family of marks in Grecian Delight Foods Inc. v. Litehouse Inc.
Represented Namasté Laboratories in a trademark and copyright infringement suit brought in the Southern District of Florida arising from the defendant’s distribution of organic hair care products in Namasté Laboratories LLC v. ASNC Sales & Marketing et al.
Represented World Kitchen in an action in the Northern District of Illinois where it brought a motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction for trade dress and counterfeiting action involving consumer houseware products in World Kitchen, LLC, et al. v. Big Lots Inc., et al.
Defended CPI at trademark infringement jury trial in the Northern District of Ohio involving a major photography studio chain brand name in Picture Me Press LLC v. CPI Corp. et al.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Springline Architects and homeowners in a copyright suit involving luxury residential architectural designs brought in the District of the Virgin Islands; 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.
Represented Livoti AIA in copyright infringement action brought in the District of New Jersey in which our client alleged that Susquehanna Bank and Minotola National Bank infringed commercial architectural designs for regional bank structures in Livoti v. Minotola National Bank, et al.
Other Complex Litigation
Represent a vehicle manufacturer in connection with a certified class involving millions of vehicles with an allegedly defective HVAC system
Represented a venture philanthropist non-profit organization in an action it filed in the Northern District of Illinois against its funded research developer alleging breach of the terms of certain medical research funding agreements relating to the development of gene therapy technology
Represented a US military veteran in a lawsuit brought against the United States and the Department of Veterans Affairs of San Francisco under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) for damages arising from negligent surgical procedures
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
Recognized, Trademark Law, San Francisco, The Best Lawyers in America (2020, 2022, 2023)
Recognized, Litigation – Intellectual Property, San Francisco; Litigation – Patent, San Francisco; Patent Law, San Francisco, The Best Lawyers in America (2011–2020, 2022, 2023)
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 (2014–2022)