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.
Trademark and Copyright Litigation
Other Complex Litigation
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)
Member, Law360 Transportation Editorial Advisory Board (2021)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Intellectual Property, Law360 (2019)
Member, Litigation Department of the Year–Intellectual Property, The American Lawyer (2019)
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), Designs Committee and Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition Project Team