James & Wells joins NZ China Innovation Centre

Intellectual property law firm James & Wells has signing on as a strategic partner to the New Zealand China Innovation Centre.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at GridAKL, during the Tripartite Economic Summit featuring representatives from Guangzhou and Los Angeles.

A statement from James & Wells says it will provide on-the-ground help to businesses at the New Zealand China Innovation Centre, a not-for-profit business support centre being sponsored by Chinese incubator InnoHub.

Johnathan Chen, head of division- Asia for James & Wells, says the partnership is a natural fit and builds on the firm’s existing work helping New Zealanders prepare for doing business in China.

“As a firm which provides legal and commercial services to a lot of start-up companies in New Zealand, we are a logical strategic partner for the New Zealand China Innovation Centre,” he says.

“Besides our IP and commercial expertise, we also have an excellent understanding of the market in China and what Kiwis need to be aware of before doing business there. It is especially important that these companies are IP ready.”

Chen says Chinese businesses are hungry to invest in New Zealand start-ups, providing a massive opportunity for those companies.

“The Chinese Government is encouraging them to look at investing into really innovative companies, to help increase the level of innovation in China’s economy. New Zealand companies are usually very innovative but they are often short on capital.

“Businesses in China have almost the opposite issues to businesses in New Zealand, so working together will be mutually beneficial.”

Xiaohui Xu, who is leading InnoHub’s New Zealand operation, says the centre will work with James & Wells to help high-growth New Zealand companies become ‘China ready’.

“The companies will get to know Chinese policy, the local legal requirements and potential customers before they actually leave for China. IP is an important part of that, which is why we are glad to be working with James & Wells.”

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