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James W. Hinton: Owner & Founder

James Hinton is the founder of Own Innovation and a proud supporter of Canadian technology companies.  In addition to being an IP lawyer, he is both a patent and trademark agent before the Canadian IP Office, and works directly for Canadian companies with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

He is also a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, where he studies IP and innovation policy. Jim also has a background in mechanical engineering, and worked in heavy truck manufacturing and fiberglass project management, before law school.  Additionally, he has a Bachelor of Engineering from McMaster University (Go Marauders!) and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto.

Jim loves to talk about IP – he is an assistant professor at Western University where he teaches engineers all about IP.  He's also a huge advocate of pro bono (free!) legal services and work with entrepreneurs locally and nationally at incubators and accelerators on IP and IP strategy.  Finally, he works closely with the Council of Canadian Innovators on Canada’s Innovation initiatives and Canada’s national IP strategy.

Kent Howe: Intellectual Property Lawyer and Patent Agent

Kent’s practice focuses on building and executing on IP strategies for high-growth Canadian tech companies including patent drafting and prosecution, trademark filing and prosecution, and technology contracts. Kent has assisted clients in various areas with a particular focus on emerging technology fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, blockchain, clean technology, biotechnology and medical devices, data asset systems, and nanotechnology.

Prior to joining Own Innovation, Kent was VP legal and director of intellectual property at a Canadian AI company. Kent uses his experience to help clients adopt a strategic approach to IP that is cognizant of the various factors and concerns that drive intracompany decisions. He has a Bachelor of Medical Sciences from the University of Western Ontario and a Juris Doctor from Queen’s University.

Kent is also an experienced club volleyball coach. He has coached both girls and boys teams of various ages, enjoying success at many levels of play including a national championship.

Rachel Wang: Patent Engineer and Intellectual Property Specialist

Rachel Wang obtained her bachelor’s degree in Architecture Environment and Equipment Engineering (HVAC) from the Nanjing Tech University and a master’s degree in Project Management from the Nanjing University in China. She then received her second master’s degree in Civil Engineering (Wind Energy) from the Western University. Rachel has extensive expertise in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Engineering Management through her experience working in a Hong Kong-based utility investment company as an engineering manager in China.

With a practice focused on patent protection, Rachel regularly conducts patentability searches, patent prosecution, and patent landscaping. 

Sanj Shivakumar: Intellectual Property Lawyer

Sanj’s practise focuses on all matters relating to intellectual property including patent drafting and prosecution, trademark filing and prosecution and assisting clients with IP strategy and management. He is also familiar with licensing, data privacy and trade secrets. He assists clients in various areas such as augmented reality, optical devices, financial technology and cannabis products.  

Prior to being called to the Ontario Bar in 2018, Sanj articled at one of Canada’s leading intellectual property firms in Toronto. Sanj is a graduate of the Canadian and American Juris Doctor program at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Additionally, he holds a Bachelor and Masters of Science in Biochemistry from McMaster University. Sanj has worked as a cancer researcher and contributed to peer-reviewed publications prior to starting his legal career.

Caitie O'Flynn: Intellectual Property Specialist and Patent Agent Trainee

Caitie obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph and her Doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario. She then worked in-house at a Canadian wearable tech company as an Intellectual Property Specialist.

Caitie focuses on patent drafting, patent prosecution, and patentability searches. 

Daniel Biggs: Intellectual Property Lawyer and Patent Agent Trainee

Daniel’s practice focuses on patent and trademark prosecution. He has extensive experience in drafting applications, responding to Office actions both domestic and international, and preparing and performing FTO searches, as well as helping start-up companies protect and monetize their inventions. Prior to joining Own Innovation, Daniel worked in patent and trademark prosecution at a boutique IP firm in downtown Toronto.

At the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Daniel specialized in the intersection of technology and the law, with a special focus on software and mechanical patents. He graduated from McGill with an honours major in Linguistics and a second major in Computer Science. He wrote his thesis while designing a compiler in C and an autocorrect program in Python.

In his spare time, Daniel enjoys learning foreign languages and looks forward to reaching double digits on that front very soon. He’s also a voracious reader, a golfer, and a board games enthusiast.

Gurbir Sidhu: Intellectual Property Specialist and Patent Agent Trainee

Gurbir handles patent and trademark prosecution, drafting patentability and FTO options, IP analytics and intelligence searching at Own Innovation. His roles include building smart IP portfolios and developing robust IP strategies for clients. He is driven towards working with innovators in obtaining optimal positioning of their IP assets.

Gurbir holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering, a graduate degree in law, and an advanced diploma in intellectual property law. Prior to joining Own Innovation, he worked as an IP lawyer and patent agent in India. He is experienced in developing e-commerce solutions for start-ups in India.  As a lawyer, he represented tech companies in safe harbour protection, intermediary liability, trademark, and copyright infringement suits. He was instrumental in establishing Linux Foundation’s OpenChain Project in India. He is also an IP facilitator in Government of India’s program on pro-bono IP filing services for start-ups.

Gurbir is currently a part-time LLM student in IP Law specialization at Osgoode Hall Law School. He is a contributing editor of the Osgoode’s IP and Tech Law blog. He is also a volunteer tutor for high school students in York University and University of Toronto’s Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS) program.

Outside school and work, Gurbir likes playing cricket and making music.

Chris Kowal: Intellectual Property Lawyer and Patent Agent Trainee

Chris’ practice focuses on patent drafting and prosecution in the high-tech and mechanical spaces, as well as IP strategy and licensing.

Prior to joining Own Innovation, Chris articled at a top intellectual property boutique in Toronto, where he focused on patent prosecution and drafting. Chris holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, as well as an Honours Mechanical Engineering degree from McGill University.

Chris has previously worked in consumer electronics, industrial construction, and academic research (combustion science). He has a broad technical background, spanning the mechanical, software and electrical spaces

Jared Sues: Intellectual Property Lawyer and Patent Agent Trainee 

Jared's practice focuses on assisting with intellectual property protections and strategy. Jared came to intellectual property law after a 9-year career in mechanical and robotics engineering. Prior to joining Own Innovation, Jared attended Osgoode Hall Law school where he served as an IP Osgoode Innovation Clinic Coordinator and focused his studies on intellectual property law. Before that, Jared worked in missile defense, nuclear power plant structural design, accident reconstruction (collision forensics), and airplane component manufacturing, applying his B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University, M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering (Robotics) from Johns Hopkins University, and US P.Eng. license.

Jared is an avid outdoorsman and builder. Whether camping, replacing the broken window on his car, or installing his hardwood floors, Jared loves working with his hands. As a third-generation engineer who grew up recognizing the value of creative effort Jared looks forward to helping the next generation of innovators realize their dreams.

Kit Kreider: Intellectual Property Manager 

Kit has more than 15 years of experience in intellectual property administration. With a background at both international law firms and boutique intellectual property operations, he has extensive experience managing worldwide IP portfolios, deep knowledge of practices and procedures, and a drive to provide clients with excellent service.

Sean Horwich: Intellectual Property Clerk

Sean has over 15 years of customer service and administrative experience.  He focuses on the administrative aspects of intellectual property including patent and trademark filings and prosecution and portfolio management. He is currently enrolled in the Business Marketing programme at Conestoga College and will apply what he learns there to the intellectual property field.

Tar Charbonneau: Trademark Agent Trainee and Intellectual Property Clerk

Tar has over 10 years of experience in intellectual property administration in Canadian, US, and foreign patent and trademark contexts. Aer special interests include US patent information disclosure and trademark prosecution in multiple jurisdictions.

Prior to joining Own Innovation, Tar maintained a practice as a licensed Paralegal in Ontario with a focus on Landlord and Tenant Board matters, and has also worked at national and multinational law firms and at boutique IP practices. Tar spent time out of the IP world consulting for Not-for-Profit, NGOs, and B-Corp organizations on organizational transformation, including human-centred change management strategies, and process improvement.

In aer spare time, Tar enjoys hiking, kayaking, cooking, building and DIY projects, sculpting various media, learning to code, and supporting LGBTIQ2A+ initiatives.

Lynnette Lakusta: Intellectual Property Clerk

Lynnette has over 30 years of extensive experience in all areas of intellectual property.  After graduating from college, Lynnette accidentally stumbled into the world wide practice of IP and has never looked back.

Prior to joining Own Innovation, Lynnette worked for several international law firms, boutique intellectual property firms and intellectual property strategy firms.

In Lynnette’s spare time, Lynnette enjoys photography, writing, dancing and hiking.

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