Endeavor to Realize Her Dream

By Wu Hujun, China IP,[Comprehensive Reports]

-Interview with Yang Pu, Licensing Director of Honeywell China Co., Ltd.
 
"Every day, 140,00 employees of Honeywell (China) provide the best quality, delivery, value and technology to our customers." Yang Pu is one of the 14,000 employees and now as Licensing Director of Honeywell China Co., Ltd., she provides customers with a comprehensive service that combines technical and legal knowledge. As one of Honeywell's requirements for employee's code of conduct - "wisdom-based adventure", Yang Pu's career path change is just like a gorgeous adventure. Yang Pu, as a science and engineering graduate, first learned intellectual property (IP) rights in Tsinghua University when she was working on her law degree and she was inspired then by Microsoft’s lawsuit of IP case in China in which Chen Jianmin, a female professor as China’s chief lawyer participated. The combination of engineering and law seems accidental, however it turns into an inevitable choice because of the subsequent persistent adherence.
"Sometimes man proposes is not better than god disposes. Accidentally, I got into IP operations area, and then delightedly find that here lies my value of life." Yang Pu sighed with emotion when recalled the original career choice. With the understanding of patents and technology, rich experience in new business development and splendid business experience, both in local enterprises as Huawei to multinational companies as Honeywell (China) Inc., from new business expansion to the IP authorization business, Yang Pu went through those arduous time in her teen and shining years, taking this adventure to the end with legal person's rationality and professional managers’ perseverance.
 
Tough journey–struggle to stand out
Two A4 paper size resume, vividly record the glorious years of Yang Pu. From 2001 to 2005, Yang Pu served in Huawei, then UT Starcom, engaging in the expansion of new business other than telecommunications equipment and responsible for the promotion of transmission products. After two years, she joined GE, as a channel development manager, responsible for the management of China’s security and fire dealers of Asia-Pacific region and determining the channel structure and dealer network in China.
When it comes to career transition, Yang Pu frankly told journalist of China IP her concern in the past: "A variety of work experience and complicated profession, once were my distress, since I hope I could thrive stably in one field of one industry and take a professional road." In 2008, although with an accumulation of 7 years in business development industry, Yang Pu still chose to take a challenge for a different future. When Unilin Group came to China to recruit staff, she got interested, while in Yang Pu’s view, she accidentally entered into the intellectual property operations area. "This is an interdisciplinary new industry that requires background of the law, understanding of patent technology, ability to expand in the new industry, and experience of business negotiation. Unilin Group recruited me at that time because my comprehensive work experience and knowledge background are relatively in line with their requirements. After successfully becoming Unilin Group's first Chinese employee in intellectual property operations, I found that past experiences and knowledge have been perfectly integrated in this position and therefore I feel so fortunate to find my career development." Yang Pu explained in this way. The brave choice at the beginning turns into an unexpected surprise as time goes by. As such, Pu Yang started her IP manager career.
As the first local employee of Unilin Group's IP authorization business, Yang Pu acted as a bridge between Belgian headquarters and Chinese customers. Cultural differences and differences in the system lead to misunderstanding and unhappiness in cooperation. How to make better communication and coordination is a problem that she had not encountered before. Confronting these new problems, Yang Pu did not back off, but declared herself to the past. In just two years, Yang Pu managed more than 60 patented technology authorized users and led the team to promote the signature and execution of more than 10 registered trademarks Uniclic® license contracts in China. In addition, she won two invalid patent cases targeting Unilin’s core patents in China.
An IP resources rich company could maximize the space and value of IP operations. As deeply devoted to IP operations, Yang Pu also felt the bottleneck of personal career development. To create enough room for growth, in 2010 Yang Pu chose to join Honeywell - a company with plenty of intangible assets as patents, technology and brands etc. It is fortunate that a person can realize his own value in a suitable company and profession. In the past six years, Honeywell China Co., Ltd. started from scratch and established an IP operation department in China. Until today it owns a large number of authorized users. "I think it brings a great sense of accomplishment that we can promote a new business model in a down-to-earth manner." Yang Pu concluded herself after joining Honeywell. In 2014, Yang Pu was promoted as operating IP director. The team she led is responsible for the management of company’s intangible assets in the high growth regions and authorizing the use of Honeywell owned IP to partners. Exclusive authorized partners of over 20 product lines were explored in solar energy, LED lights, auto parts and other industries.
Fruitful results also come from her conclusion and improvement of the past experience, so far, Yang Pu still remembers the first technology authorization case she did in China. "Honeywell's sensor core technology can be applied to the field of medical devices. However, initially we do not understand SFDA’s approval criteria on the medical field, neither are we familiar with the medical market. To achieve the application of this technology in related industries, through expanding market research range, we found a complementary customer – an enterprise long engaged in CRO services, with medical device technology digestive ability and we reached cooperation with them!" Talking about this, her feeling of pride is so palpable.
 
Operation - maximize strategic value
As operating IP director, one of Yang Pu's work is to coordinate the cooperation and conflict between authorized business and main business, to ensure that Honeywell authorized partners get the company's resources support and achieve more potential project cooperation opportunities. "Every IP professional manager will confront the issue of cooperation and conflict between authorized business and main business during IP operation. Because unlike Non-Practicing Entities (NPE) and law firm, main business income of company is usually higher than proceeds of IP operations. In addition, IP is created in the process of main business development, thus the operation of IP must be matching to support and service main business." Yang Pu said that handling of this problem tests a professional manager’s accurate judgment and overall management ability. At this moment, long term demands of industries relations, brand values and business development have to be taken into consideration. Furthermore, the operation strategy of IP requires a cautious consideration and interests need to be balanced between sectors and overall, and between long-term and short-term. As regards how to develop a good operation style, Yang Pu provided her own interpretation in the interview: "understanding what you have and what you want is the basis of making a strategy. A good authorized business strategy, first of all, shall be simple. The simpler the strategy is, the more effective it will be. Secondly, it shall be practical and fit company's overall strategy and culture. Lastly, it shall be enforceable. No matter how established the strategy is, it also requires action plans and processes to refine the macro goals and ensure down-to-earth implementation.
In the multinational layout and management of IPR, Yang Pu leads the team to determine the intangible asset authorization strategy suitable for the company. "Firstly, choose the fastest and well growing industry, such as environmental protection, energy saving, Internet of things, electricity business to do the authorization. These industries have high growth rate, rich opportunity, thus the value of IP is significant. Secondly, closely integrate with Honeywell’s main business. Identify the shortage of product lines in certain sub-vertical market and among target customers (such as metro, airport, factory of petroleum, natural gas and chemistry), and select these areas to explore. This will ensure that it is complementary to the main business, and enable authorized partners and Honeywell to establish close cooperation to provide the overall solution to the same customer. Thirdly, fully understand the authorized industry. Intangible asset authorization is a discipline between the law and business, which requires both industry background and business knowledge. It is necessary to deeply understand the technology and patents to be authorized and the industry of brands." She introduced her own strategic planning to journalist.
The experience of new business development endows Yang Pu with keen insight of multinational IP layout and management. In terms of determining company's authorized business objectives based on Honeywell's existing IP resources, market information, industry background, etc., abovementioned strategic planning needs to be taken into account, in addition, coordination and communication with local business group are requested. In this regard, Yang Pu believed, "In the communication with the local business groups, the most critical issue is to understand the region's overall business development direction, and then determine whether it is applicable to expand the product line here in the way of authorization to attract more partners. We believe that only by close cooperation with Chinese local partners, can we achieve the maximum strategic value."
 
The future - power visible
"At thirty, I had planted my feet firmly upon the ground. At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities." Today, Yang Pu said frankly, at work she respects the rational judgments, but in life, she chooses to turn off some of the switches and to be a little lazy, slow and simple. "I love travel, and have been to over 40 countries. I love swimming and snorkeling as well. The world under the sea is very quiet which makes me relax." When talking about the future planning, Yang Pu smiled, "I hope I can be devoted to my favorite industry, make some achievements and reflect the value of my life."
Although having been in this industry for nearly nine years, Yang Pu still believes that this industry is full of opportunities and challenges, bringing her continued power to fight. With the establishment of sound laws and regulations and the implementation of government support, Yang Pu firmly believes that it is expected that more typical cases of IP protection and operation will be established in China and China's domestic IP system will be as sound as those in North America and Europe, which will cultivate a mature and huge market. "But we are still in the initial stage. How to promote the development of new markets to become mature and local enterprises to accept the new business model remain huge challenges, which demand for efforts of IP professional managers to keep making changes for the industry ".
(Translated by Li Yudan)
 
 

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