(l-r) Wanli Wu, Jared Howenstine, Jim Wimpe, Jessica Eastman, and Alicia Hayter of Cantor Colburn.

Cantor Colburn, the fourth-largest patent law firm in the U.S., has kicked off the new year with the promotion of James Wimpe, a Hartford-based patent attorney, to its partnership. Also effective Jan, 1, Hartford-based associates Alicia Hayter, Jared B. Howenstine, and Wanli Wu have been promoted to counsel and Jessica Zimberlin Eastman, Ph.D., becomes a senior patent agent.

“These professionals are talented and dedicated, and we are recognizing them for providing outstanding counsel and service to their clients,” said Philmore H. Colburn II, co-managing partner of Cantor Colburn. “The partnership is confident that they will make even greater contributions to the firm’s success in their new roles.”

Co-managing partner Michael A. Cantor said the firm places “great value on attracting and retaining top legal talent to serve our clients. These professionals make an outstanding contribution to the firm and will for years to come.”

Wimpe’s prepares patent practice invalidity and infringement/noninfringement opinions for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to academic institutions to solo inventors. Technology, aerospace, automotive and mechanical engineering are among his areas of expertise. Before joining Cantor Colburn in 2006, he worked as an engineer in aerospace and automotive design. He received his engineering degree from the University of Illinois, and his law degree from the Western New England University School of Law.

Intellectual property attorney Hayter has covered utility and design patent application preparation, prosecution, counseling and portfolio management. She also conducts searches and prepares corresponding patentability, freedom to operate and noninfringement opinions. She has worked with foreign and domestic clients in aerospace and aeronautics, elevators, heating and cooling systems and latch-and-lock technology. Hayter worked on-site for client United Technologies Corp. Building Industrial Systems for a secondment of four months and has counseled several small Connecticut-based businesses on IP strategy and securing their first patents. She previously worked as a mechanical engineer and patent engineer at Otis Elevator. Hayter received her degree in mechanical engineering from Villanova University and her law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Howenstine concentrates his practice in intellectual property and information technology, focusing on patent prosecution, counseling, licensing and patent infringement litigation. Areas include mechanical medical devices, oil field exploration and production equipment, wireless communications and aerospace and aeronautics components. Howenstine has degrees in astronomy and physics, both magna cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a law degree from South Texas College of Law Houston, cum laude.

Wu focuses on drafting patent applications and obtaining patents in the fields of polymers, oil and gas field fluids, hydrocarbon recovery and treatment, cosmetics and specialty chemicals. She previously worked as a research chemist for eight years, synthesizing novel hepatitis C drug candidates and working as a patent inventor. She received her master’s degree in chemistry from the Nankai University in Tianjin, China, another master’s in organic chemistry from the University of Mississippi, and her law degree from Rutgers School of Law.

Eastman currently assists clients in a wide range of technical fields, including chemistry, nanotechnology, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering, with a primary focus on polymer and material science. She has extensive experience in patent preparation and both foreign and domestic prosecution and works closely with startup companies and several of the leading companies in the plastics industry. She previously worked as an engineer at such companies as Rogers Corp., Unilever, Fraunhofer IPA, Tokyo Women’s Medical University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She has degrees in chemical engineering and German from the University of Connecticut and an M.S. and Ph.D. in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.