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Johnathan Chen (陈禹豪)

Head of Division - Asia (亚洲部总监)

To quote an old Chinese proverb, “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back”.

Johnathan heads our Asia Team. Genetically he is of Taiwanese/Chinese extraction; culturally he is a Kiwi. He is fluent in Mandarin and totally at home in the Chinese business environment. Regular trips to China and Taiwan liaising with Chinese IP firms, and finding business partners for NZ clients and negotiating agreements means he is the go-to person for clients wanting to do business in Asia.

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

  • BE (Hons) Mechanical
  • Registered Patent Attorney - New Zealand and Australia

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
  • Blue Sky Mining 
  • Competitive intelligence 
  • Confidential information and trade secrets


As an Intellectual Property Specialist, Johnathan works alongside the trade mark and patents teams to develop IP strategies that ensure Kiwi’s can make the most of their ideas worldwide. He specialises in searching, prosecuting and drafting patent applications, and providing infringement and 'freedom to operate' opinions in the field of engineering.

As head of our Asia Team, Johnathan has great relationships with the Chinese IP firms we work with, and this ensures our clients get value for money, competent service and that language barriers don’t lead to confusion or poor outcomes. 

Johnathan also acts as a business liaison between clients and the Chinese market. He understands the Chinese business mentality, and has numerous business contacts in China in a range of industries and government authorities. 

Johnathan assists with the development of dual language (Chinese/English) contracts and agreements alongside our Commercial team. He also runs our Chinese brand creation and registration service, which ensures clients have useable Chinese brands and/or English brands which don’t translate into something rude in Mandarin Chinese. 

Before joining James & Wells, Johnathan worked as a Design and Project Engineer for NDA - a specialist stainless steel fabrication and consulting company. Johnathan’s role saw him both project managing as well as designing and drafting pressure vessels, holding tanks, process vessels and steel structures for an extensive range of industries. 

Johnathan holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours) and is a Registered Patent Attorney.

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