Our Team

Brian Yates

(626) 247-8722

Brian Yates is CEO of iPEL, Inc., which he founded in 2017. During its first year, iPEL secured $200 million in capital for the purpose of building one of the most valuable patent portfolios in the world. Through a series of acquisitions and divestments, Mr. Yates curated iPEL’s current patent portfolio, which covers many of the core products and services being offered by leading technology companies around the globe.

Mr. Yates has completed a wide range of licenses for iPEL, such as a free license to a start-up company and an eight-figure license to a medium-sized Silicon Valley company. For infringing companies that refuse to respect iPEL’s patent rights, they can expect to defend their actions in court.

From 2000 to 2010, Mr. Yates represented technology companies as a patent prosecutor and patent litigator. In 2011, he left legal practice to become an entrepreneur. During the seven years leading up to iPEL, Mr. Yates founded more than 40 technology companies – each one focusing on a different aspect of technology and owning valuable patent rights. While Mr. Yates did not personally invent those amazing technologies, he did partner with extremely talented companies and individuals.

During the past decade, Mr. Yates has successfully licensed the patents of his wholly-owned companies to more than 1,000 companies, including nearly every technology company on the Fortune 1000. Excluding transactions where Mr. Yates served as legal counsel for a client, he has successfully completed patent transactions on behalf of his own companies totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mr. Yates obtained his chemistry degree from Whittier College and his JD from Loyola Law School, where he graduated with honors and received numerous awards, including the American Jurisprudence Awards for obtaining the highest grades in constitutional law, advanced legal writing, appellate advocacy, and trial advocacy.

Xiyan Zhang

(626) 346-1889

Xiyan Zhang is the President and General Counsel of iPEL, Inc. Prior to iPEL, Mr. Zhang served as a Partner at Stratum Law LLC, where he represented clients in patent prosecution, patent litigation, patent licensing, and technology-related commercial transactions. 
Mr. Zhang is a native of China.  Being bilingual and having a deep understanding of U.S. and Chinese patent law has allowed Mr. Zhang to advise multinational technology companies on how to most effectively protect and leverage their intellectual property rights in both countries.  As an entrepreneur and business owner in China, Mr. Zhang learned the nuances of Chinese business culture and the political environment, which allows him to more effectively pursue business goals in cross-border trade, particularly through the exercise of patent rights. 

Mr. Zhang obtained a degree in Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and graduated with honors from University of Minnesota Law School.  He is admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and is licensed to practice law in New York.

Nicolas Labbit


Nicolas Labbit is the Chief Technology Officer of iPEL.  Mr. Labbit began his professional career in 2010, after graduating from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M University School of Law).  During his legal career, Mr. Labbit interfaced with inventors and experts from numerous fields of technology and evaluated patents and legal arguments for diverse fields of technology, including cellular backhaul, enterprise networking, cryptography and digital rights management, cloud services, VoIP communications, online gaming, and IoT control systems.

Mr. Labbit has spent his life immersed in the study of technology.  In 1997-1999 he took part in the Iomega mentorship program and in 2001 he was invited to attend the Young Technology Leaders conference in Austin.  By the time Mr. Labbit graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with his bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he had gained fluency in a half dozen programming languages, ranging from COBOL to Java, as well as knowledge of operations and hardware.  He brought his passion for technology with him into law school, where he was one of just five graduates to receive the law school’s new certificate in intellectual property, to show significant expertise and experience in this area of law.

Since 2015, Mr. Labbit has worked with Mr. Yates as an advisor for both technical and legal matters.  With Mr. Yates he has had the privilege of working with innovators throughout the globe and has enjoyed the exciting opportunities to study and work with nascent and cutting-edge fields of technology.