IPIC Announces Carol Hitchman as the Recipient of the Member of Distinction Award
The IPIC Member of Distinction Award recognizes IP professionals who have made significant contributions to the Institute for a minimum of 20 consecutive years. These individuals have demonstrated significant leadership, commitment, and dedication to increasing awareness of IPIC and the IP profession in Canada. IPIC’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce Carol Hitchman as the recipient of this year's Member of Distinction Award. Carol Hitchman received the award on October 13, 2023, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to IPIC.
No one understands the importance of IP and the IP profession better than Carol Hitchman. We have been privileged to have her on IPIC's Board as a Councillor, as a member of the Executive, and as President. In her service to IPIC over 20 years and for her invaluable contributions to our critical Privilege and Self-Regulation Committee, Intervention Committee, and as Chair of the Professional Regulation Committee, Carol has demonstrated a singular level of leadership and commitment to the profession. When it comes to Carol, “Member of Distinction” seems an insufficient descriptor – Tim Lowman, IPIC President 2022-2023
Carol currently serves as counsel to the firm of Sprigings IP. With a career spanning back to 1984, she has established herself as a formidable litigator specializing in intellectual property. Her legal practice predominantly focuses on patent and trademark cases, particularly in pharmaceuticals. She has appeared before eminent legal bodies, including the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada.
I am honoured to be recognized by IPIC which I consider to be the leading organization representing intellectual property practitioners in Canada. I have enjoyed being involved in IPIC over the years. I have had the privilege of meeting many of the leading practitioners in the field and have always enjoyed the camaraderie of the organization. – Carol Hitchman, Member of Distinction Award Recipient 2022-2023
Carole has been a devoted volunteer to the profession, actively participating in various IPIC committees, including the Litigation Committee and the Continuing Professional Development Committee. She has devoted many years as a contributor to the Board, as past President of IPIC 2003 – 2004, on the critical Privilege and Self-Regulation Committee, the Intervention committee, and most recently as Chair of the Professional Regulation Committee.
I cannot think of a better recipient of IPIC’s Member of Distinction award this year than Carol Hitchman. Carol’s career as an IP litigator has resulted in the adoption of significant legal doctrines in both patent and trademark law by the Supreme Court of Canada and Federal Court of Appeal. In addition to a busy career, Carol gave generously of her time to IPIC, as a member of Council over a number of years and President during the 2003-2004 term, and as an engaged participant on several IPIC committees, including Intervention, Professional Regulation, Litigation, IP Users and Continuing Professional Development. She taught the patent validity and infringement module at both the McGill Patent Agent Examination Preparation course and the Tutorials for many years. Her volunteer committee and teaching contributions are numerous and significant; for example, for Professional Regulation, she singlehandedly produced a first complete draft of IPIC’s Code of Conduct, later adopted in the legislation enacting the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents. Carol has been a role model for her colleagues, both contemporaries and younger members of the professional. Congratulations to a well-deserving recipient! – Leonora Hoicka
Carol's dedication to the field is also reflected in her numerous written papers and her involvement in teaching the IPIC patent agent tutorials and the patent training course at McGill University. On her spear time, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and her son as well as her new granddaughter. She is an avid Leafs’ fan and attends Jays games, mostly for the food.