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Our Team

Brian Yates

(626) 247-8722

Brian Yates is the Chief Executive Officer of iPEL.  Mr. Yates began his professional career in 2000 as an attorney in California.  After graduating from Loyola Law School, he spent the next decade representing technology companies and inventors in all aspects of intellectual property, with a particular emphasis on patent rights.  In late 2010, Mr. Yates became an entrepreneur and started his first technology company, which began a whole new professional path.  In early 2011, he stopped practicing law and pursued his passion for technology and innovation on a full-time basis.

From 2010 to 2018, Mr. Yates became the founder of more than 40 technology companies.  Each company focused on a different aspect of technology and owned exclusive, government granted patent rights.  Mr. Yates did not personally invent all of those amazing technologies, but instead partnered with extremely talented and innovative companies and individuals.  As the owner of those companies, he successfully licensed the patented technologies to more than 1,000 companies, including most of the leading technology companies in the world.

Based on his successes as an entrepreneur, many investors wanted to partner with Mr. Yates.  In order to achieve an even greater impact, in 2017, Mr. Yates partnered with prominent patent trial attorney, Rasheed McWilliams, to create a new company, iPEL, Inc., which secured $200 million in capital.  With iPEL, Mr. Yates and Mr. McWilliams are working with technology companies across the globe to develop and commercialize cutting-edge innovations. Later this year, some of iPEL’s current investments should be publicly announced. 

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.

A.J. Carralejo


A.J. Carralejo is the Vice President of Finance at iPEL.  A.J. brings eight years of private and public accounting sector experience, and is responsible for and assists in iPEL’s finance and accounting functions. Prior to joining iPEL, A.J. worked as an auditor for a public accounting firm for four years. He is a graduate of California Lutheran University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.