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Johnathan Chen (陈禹豪)

Head of Division - Asia (亚洲部总监)

Johnathan Chen is the Head of the Asia Division at James & Wells – a team dedicated to providing specialist intellectual property and business advice to New Zealanders wanting to do business in Asia, and vice versa. Johnathan has assisted many businesses from Asia to devise and implement appropriate intellectual property protection strategies for patent and trade mark rights throughout Australasia and the Pacific.

He also provides advisory services to facilitate business and investment transactions between New Zealand and Asia, with a focus on intellectual property. Johnathan has a working knowledge of conducting business in Asia and New Zealand, and numerous business contacts across a range of industries.

In between jetting off to China, Johnathan unwinds by playing basketball in the Conference Basketball League, or getting out on the field to play rugby or touch rugby. .

Qualifications and memberships

  • Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons) from The University of Waikato
  • Registered Patent Attorney in New Zealand and Australia.
  • Member of the Asian Patent Attorney Association (APAA), the Institute of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ), and the New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys (NZIPA).

Industry specialty

  • Agribuiness
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical
  • Clean technology
  • Creative/Design/Media
  • Electronics
  • Food and beverage
  • Health technology
  • ICT - software
  • Mechanical
  • Natural products


  • Doing business in Asia
  • Domain name disputes
  • Education
  • Intellectual property strategy
  • Patents
  • Competitive intelligence 
  • Confidential information and trade secrets


With a range of skills as both an engineer and a patent attorney, as well as being bi-cultural and bi-lingual (Mandarin/English), Johnathan is able to assist in bridging the gap between different cultures and business landscapes. He has facilitated numerous investment and commercial deals between New Zealand and Chinese interests, and utilises James & Wells’ full suite of services and broad Australasian client base to maximise opportunities for Asian businesses interested in New Zealand.

Johnathan’s expertise and knowledge makes him in demand, and he currently serves as an advisor to and/or independent director on the boards of several New Zealand companies. Johnathan is also an elected member of the Executive Board for the New Zealand China Trade Association (NZCTA), and he has been elected to be one of a group of New Zealand Asian Leaders (NZAL). 

But don't take our word for it

"Our work with Mr. Johnathan Chen and his Asia division team of James & Wells aimed to protect our intellectual property rights in New Zealand. As an offshore company to handle IP matters in New Zealand, we believed engaging a professional IP firm to handle and follow up the case is one of the key successful factors. The result of our case was satisfactory and we were happy with the professional support from the team. James & Wells demonstrated a sound understanding of the situation and their teams provided professional advice and support all the way down. We would be delighted to recommend this firm to any business who deals with IP matters in New Zealand."

Alison Leung, Head of Brand and Marketing Department

"Johnathan has become an important part of our innovation team at Spring Sheep Milk Co. We really value running things through on a whiteboard with him as we work through the many facets of the innovation journey in a high growth business."

Nick Hammond, Cheif Operating Officer, Spring Sheep Milk Co