Chen Jun: Accumulation and Sublimation

By Jody Lu, China IP Publication,[Comprehensive Reports] Article,Read 1692 Times

Chen Jun
In 2000, entered Foxconn after graduation
By the end of 2002, entered ZTE
By the end of 2006, entered GE
In 2009, entered Schaeffler, a German MNC


It seems that Chen Jun, a handsome man, is a professional that cannot be ignored in the IP circle which is populated with scientific and technological males. Despite being only 37 years old, he is responsible for the IP business in Asia Pacific region for Schaeffler Group. His suit is just a show for the professional elite at foreign enterprises in China.


In his interview with China IP, Chen Jun used the words “substantial” and “stable” many times to describe his current work and life. He believes that a happy person is, in general, living a stable and simple life. He loves sports and finance, and has kept the habit of regularly swimming and running for his weight loss program. “I think China has experienced a too rapid economic development. Throughout the economic and social development periods in Europe and U.S., people began in pursuit of better quality of life and happiness when their economies developed and wealth accumulated to a certain extent. Therefore, environmental, health and Chen Jun: Accumulation and Sublimation Chen Jun In 2000, entered Foxconn after graduation By the end of 2002, entered ZTE By the end of 2006, entered GE In 2009, entered Schaeffler, a German MNC spiritual demands have increasingly become a topic of concern to everyone,” Chen Jun said.


It is lucky for Chen Jun to began his career in the IP industry 14 years ago when the first group of IP managers for businesses appeared on the stage in China and he has been in the industry up to the present. “Sometimes, a decision may have influence on your life, and it is usually a casual decision at the crucial moment,” Chen Jun said frankly, “during the past 14 years, China’s IP industry has evolved from a rare thing to a hot thing. IP practitioners are the participants, witnesses and direct beneficiaries of such evolution.”


Accumulation

“It seems that the professional circle of the IP industry has had a very similar track in terms of career development,” Chen Jun said. Indeed, many of them began their IP management career at enterprises at the same age, made their casual career choices after graduation and joined Foxconn around 2000.


Before his graduation in 2000, Chen Jun heard about Foxconn was doing campus recruiting, at which he got to know the conditions and career development of IP practioners in Taiwan. Although he had no concept of IP at that time, Chen Jun kept listening carefully for more than an hour. And Chen Jun had an epiphany from the forward-looking evaluation of the potential career development in China’s IP industry made by the company recruiting. He decided to seize this opportunity. After graduation, he became a member of Foxconn at Kunshan, Jiangsu Province.


Around the year 2000, the market witnessed an explosion of optical communication technology, and Foxconn planned to make a fortune in the industry. With an automation major as his educational background, Chen Jun had very similar working experiences as other patent engineers of Foxconn: made interpretations of American Patent publications and gazettes, conducted investigation on the IP industry and competitors’ patent portfolios, prepared patent applications and conducted office actions, and made evaluations on the risk of patent infringement of products, etc.


At that time, Chen Jun shared room with three other colleagues. Foxconn provided proper canteen, library, playground and even laundry service for its employees, which was almost the same condition as a campus. However, in the view of Chen Jun, it was the relatively closed environment that calmed the minds of the young people after graduations.


Chen Jun still has deep emotions for those days at Foxconn. “I was very lucky to have the platform provided by Foxconn at that time when I knew nothing about IP.” Chen Jun told China IP, “The most emotional memory is about Foxconn’s heritage and sharing of IP experiences. You can have the guidance from experienced Foxconn experts from America and Taiwan and experience sharing with senior colleagues in mainland China which had become a tradition since 1998.” In an environment where learning desire was stimulated, he said that he became more of a diligent learner instead of being sensitive on salary. I had great opportunities to get to know American IP cases, to have a systematic study on the IP laws and regulations of China and the U.S. Now, the most vivid memory for him in those days was to have hard study and research on American Guidance on Patent Examination with his colleagues.


The development in IP industry in China was rocketing around 2003, resulting in a shortage of IP talent which was unknown to the public and many job opportunities appeared on human resource markets. After seeing more and more colleagues’ resignation for further development, Chen Jun began to look for a better development opportunity. At that time, he aimed at ZTE for the rapid expansion of its IP department and he moved from Foxconn in Kunshan to ZTE in Shanghai for further career development.


Chen Jun worked for four years at ZTE from the end of 2002 to the end of 2006 and he was in charge of IP in the mobile phone department of ZTE’s Shanghai research and development center. “ZTE’s experience was very important to me. At Foxconn, what I acquired was the basic understanding and accumulation of IP knowledge, and experiences with specific case settlement as a patent engineer, whereas the platform at ZTE gave me an opportunity to extend my understanding of IP business management and operation, namely, how to make a combination of basic IP business with business operation and administration, and coordination and cooperation between different departments, therefore to provide support for the enterprise’s market competition,” Chen Jun said. During Chen Jun’s four years stay at ZTE, he found a new direction. He decided to jump out of the professional technology circles, and to focus on improvement of his ability in IP management and operation. At that time, he turned to multinational corporations (MNCs) for their maturity and advanced IP management models. As a result, he joined GE at the end of 2006 and acted as an IP consultant for GE industrial consumer goods business group.


The foreign company culture makes its employees improve his personal image and language ability. Foreign companies are different from China’s domestic companies in the sense that there is a clearer stipulation that professional problems should be resolved by professionals, which undoubtedly provides more opportunities for talented persons. However, Chen Jun felt there was a slight gap between his imagination and the actual professional accumulation at GE, a world-known MNC. “GE has developed a mature IP management model. The members of its IP team did their work respectively, with no need to change and indeed have few chance to improve IP business management according to one’s own conception,” Chen Jun admitted frankly.


Nevertheless, the IP management model of multinational companies was also a new revelation for Chen Jun. “Sometimes, Chinese companies focus on the external image of IP. For example, they attach a higher importance to IP quantity accumulation than to IP quality improvement, whereas MNCs pay more attention to the proper quality and value of IP. IP is neither omnipotent nor an image project. It is an effective way to support the enterprise’s market competition, which should be based on the enterprise’s R&D, a sophisticated and professional strategy as well as perseverance and sustainable investment are all needed. Therefore, IP should be a process of accumulation and sublimation,” Chen Jun explained.


Sublimation

After two years of working at GE, Chen Jun decided to resign and joined Schaeffler, a German MNC to pursue his career aspirations.


In addition to being a world-renowned leader in rolling bearing products in industrial and aerospace industries and linear motion products, Schaeffler is also well-known in the automotive industry. It is worth mentioning that, although Schaeffler had developed a mature IP management model abroad, its subsidiary in China began to seek IP protection as late as in 2009 when Chen Jun became its employee and its local team for business operation had not been established yet. For Chen Jun, he finally found an opportunity at Schaeffler after so many years of pursuit in IP industry.


Chen Jun was not reticent about speaking of his ambitions at that time. He said that it might be his harvest at Schaeffler after so many years of cultivation. In 2012, he thought it was the right time for him to initiate the development of the IP team for the company, three years after working at Schaeffler. At first, he had to make efforts to fight for resources from the company and Schaeffler headquarters in Germany. Now, it has an IP team of 8 members working in China, in charge of Schaeffler’s IP business across the Asian and Pacific regions. Chen Jun did not mention details in the process of such rapid development, but with a smile and frankness in his fashion, said that he is very satisfied with such achievement in his development.


What made Chen Jun more proud was that his team nearly got full authorization from the German headquarters, which is different from a headquarter-controlled-model that has been popular at MNCs. In his opinion, such change may be attributed to both the efforts of his team and the strategic adjustment of Schaeffler.


Years of work experience at foreign companies make him keenly aware of a change. There is a transformation of MNCs’ IP management model happening in China, from international management to global management; that is to say, an IP team may be established in China with adequate authorization, the concept of headquarters and region may be dimmed as a result, the regional business should be decided by the local team and all regional teams should mutually coordinate while keeping their independence, and therefore, a global IP management system may be established. Ten years ago, there was no group of IP managers, and MNCs usually managed their IP rights by way of IP firms with authorization. Since the IP environment has become more and more mature in China, companies have to face fiercer competition and challenges, MNCs have to rely more on China’s IP managers with authorization, and can no longer simply rely on IP firms as before.


“Over the past decade, there has been an explosive development of IP business in China, resulting in a large number of opportunities at human resource market. Although such development dynamics has been changed, the speed of its growth has tended to be more stable, and IP managers will witness a relatively stable development.” Chen Jun made an objective comment, “Nevertheless, I will not be satisfied as the challenges have been there all the time. I think I need a longer period for some further in-depth accumulations and time to have such accumulations to be sublimated, in order to have a long and stable development in the future.”


(Translated by Yuan Renhui)

 


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It is lucky for Chen Jun to began his career in the IP industry 14 years ago when the first group of IP managers for businesses appeared on the stage in China and he has been in the industry.

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