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James Hinton, BENG '05

Building prosperity through intellectual property

Brilliant innovations are driving global technology and creating enormous wealth. But ensuring that wealth accrues to the economy demands a vigorous intellectual property (IP) strategy.

James Hinton has spent the last decade focused on finding ways to help Canadian innovators, and the country that has nurtured them, benefit from emerging technologies.

A 2005 mechanical engineering grad, Hinton went on to earn his law degree in 2010.

A specialization in intellectual property attracted him because it allows him to work with the most interesting and forward-looking technology, he says

As an IP lawyer, patent and trademark agent, Hinton established his firm Own Innovation.

He is also a fellow with the Waterloo-based Centre for International Governance and Innovation studying IP and innovation technology, and an assistant professor at Western University, where he teaches IP to engineers.

Finally, he is co-founder of the Innovation Asset Collective, Canada’s patent collective program that aims to increase the freedom to operate for the country’s technology companies.

His work ranges from patent portfolio development and IP strategy execution to policy research and education.

“I am very fortunate to be able to work with some of the most ambitious and forward-thinking innovators in the world, based in Canada,” he says. “It is my privilege to help them commercialize Canadian technology globally.”

Hinton says his engineering background helps him quickly grasp different technologies, which is crucial in intellectual property practice.

And his days as a co-captain with McMaster’s OUA winning Marauders swim team offered leadership lessons he relies on today as he leads a growing team of IP professionals.

His advice for students: “Work hard, be ambitious and enjoy it.”