Ben Hitchens is a Partner in the London office of Locke Lord LLP and the Managing Partner of the Firm’s Brussels office. He is a member of the Intellectual Property practice and covers all aspects of intellectual property law, with a particular focus on trade mark and copyright disputes, increasingly within an online and/or digital context.
Ben is experienced in managing complex, multi-jurisdictional IP disputes on behalf of some of the world’s best-known brands and has counseled clients in actions before the English High Court and Court of Appeal, as well as the Court of Justice of the European Union. Select clients include the world’s leading technology company, an American multinational financial services corporation, a well-known social media platform, a cigarette manufacturer, luxury luggage and watch manufacturers, the world’s most famous producer of automotive air-fresheners, and a manufacturer of fine china and porcelain accessories.
In 2020, Ben was recognised by World Trademark Review’s WTR 1000 for enforcement and litigation. The publication cites his “no-nonsense advice” and describes him as “unflappable” and “an outstanding lawyer and IP specialist” who “is especially potent when enforcing European trademarks.” WTR 1000 focuses exclusively on trademark practices and practitioners, and is viewed by many as the definitive ‘go-to’ resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark practitioners.
Ben has also been described in World Trademark Review's Leading Trademark Professionals as a “pragmatic, concise and commercial” lawyer who is “not afraid to advise against a course of action if it increases costs without a tangible benefit”. He is also listed as a recommended lawyer in the Intellectual Property category of The Legal 500.
Ben is a guest lecturer on the University of Chicago Booth School of Business' Executive MBA program.
- Representing a leading technology company in opposition proceedings, including by person/persons unknown, before the UK-IPO, High Court and Court of Appeal, including successful application before Appointed Person for transfer of cross-appeal to the High Court and on application for strike out of bad faith claims
- Representing a well-known e-tailer and technology company in the High Court and Court of Appeal in defence of an infringement claim brought in relation to the operation of its internal search function and keyword advertising, including applications for specific disclosure, contesting the introduction of survey evidence and oral application before Master
- Acting on behalf of various clients in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, both as claimant and defendant, including in registered design and trade mark disputes
- Acting for an on-line fashion retailer in defending invalidity proceedings before the UK-IPO and High Court, and in cross-invalidity proceedings before the UK-IPO, High Court and Court of Appeal (including its oral application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal)
- Acting in a landmark case before the General Court in invalidity proceedings brought by the world’s best-known fast-food restaurant concerning the legal significance of its family of marks
- Representing a tobacco and e-cigarette company in relation to the infringement of its trade mark rights by e-liquid manufacturers, including successful resolution of disputes through the Company Names Tribunal and via Nominet proceedings
- Managing and enforcing the trade mark rights of a leading luggage manufacturer on a worldwide basis, including successful defence of threatened passing off and trade mark infringement proceedings
- Representing a well-known social media platform in connection with the registration and enforcement of its trade mark rights worldwide, including management of International Registration in 50+ jurisdictions worldwide
- Advising clients on infringement of database rights, including before the High Court
- Advising a leading technology company on general copyright matters, including on clearance issues and on the procurement by third parties of infringement of copyright subsisting in an operating system
- Advising on termination of a software licensing agreement, including application of statutory defences relating to decompilation and temporary copying and advice on minimising risk of infringement arising from creation of competing software application
- Advising on ownership of copyright subsisting in software in context of shareholder dispute
- Successfully advising various defendant companies on proceedings threatened on the basis of registered/unregistered UK and EU design rights in the field of luxury yacht furniture and travel accessories
- Representing a well-known jeweller in connection with the unauthorised copying and sale of its signature jewellery line
- Patent entitlement disputes with both domestic and international focus
- Drafting licence agreements and distribution agreements for the commercialisation of intellectual property rights
- Partner, Locke Lord (UK) LLP
- Associate, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
- Associate, Capsticks LLP
- Trainee Solicitor, Herbert Smith
- Admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales (2009)
Professional Affiliations and Recognitions
- Recognised in the area of Technology, Media and Telecoms - Intellectual Property by Legal 500 UK (2020)
- Member, The Society for Computers & Law
- Member, Royal United Services Institution (RUSI)
- Member, Licensing Executive Society (USA and Canada)