James holds 43 patents for his own inventions (click here to view the list). 36 of these patents are for work he did while an engineer at IBM. He received eleven invention achievement awards from IBM. Topics of his inventions include transistor design, including a vertical dual gate field effect transistor design, memory cell design, semiconductor processing, chip packaging, test and burn-in, lasers, silicon-germanium, and opto-electronic devices.
James was also an engineer with Solarex Corporation for four years, and he holds a patent for a process to fabricate a low cost metal grid for solar cells.
He and his daughter, Zoë, hold a patent for a toy that enables an infant to catch and throw that they jointly invented when she was an infant.