Born and raised in Long Beach, Jonathan Ibasco is a southern California kid raised by Filipino parents. While the new Tech Launch Arizona Manager of Intellectual Property has spent most of his years enjoying the SoCal life, he brings a world of experience to bear on the grand task of managing the intellectual property of a vast enterprise focused on innovation.
Jonathan brings to the job over 15 years of experience in all aspects of protection and procurement of intellectual property and has counseled on and protected rights for companies in fields ranging from optics to medical devices to software to electronics. He has worked in the office of intellectual property at UCLA, taught patent prosecution as an adjunct law professor, and served as intellectual property and patent counsel at a Fortune 500 technology company.
He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the California Polytechnic State University at Pomona and his law degree from the Whittier College School of Law.
When he is not in the office, Jonathan is an avid yoga practitioner and fitness junkie holding certifications in both. A lover of the outdoors, on the weekends you can probably catch him camping, backpacking, or hiking a local trail.
We recently caught up with Jonathan for a chat.
TLA: What attracted you most about the intellectual property manager position at TLA?
JI: During my last year of law school, I worked in the tech transfer office at UCLA as an extern. I fell in love with what we were doing and it really sparked my interest even before graduation. But my plan was to graduate, pay my dues at a law firm and then eventually get a job at a big company, but I got lucky and skipped the law firm, going right to work for CANON. I spent 15 years there.
With the pandemic, business slowed, so I was taking some time to see what was out there. I was looking for something really different and I saw this position come up. It brought back the memories of all the great time I spent at UCLA. I saw it as a second chance to pursue the university route while still staying in the IP environment, so I went for it.
TLA: How do you deal with challenges of living at the crossroads of where the law meets science?
JI: Well, I got my undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and spent a year working as an engineer before I went to law school. My specialties are actually radio frequency (RF) and wireless technologies. That combination of education, experience and my law degree set me up to successfully pass the patent bar. Navigating this space of innovation – right where the law meets the science – that’s my sweet spot.
TLA: What are you looking forward to most as you settle into your new role?
JI: As much as I love California, I’ve never lived anywhere else, so this is a really exciting opportunity to experience something new. When I was with CANON, I was aware that we worked with the Wyant College of Optical Sciences, so the UArizona was a known quantity for me, and I was excited to work with such an innovation leader.
TLA: You’re really dedicated to your health and wellness practice. How does that play into your life?
JI: Working in the legal field, you can imagine that every moment presents opportunities to just stress out, and sometimes it can be hard to deal with the day-to-day. But I’ve learned that maintaining the balance and perspective is essential.
I’m a long-time yoga practitioner and instructor. It’s not just about the physical part, it’s all about staying healthy physically and mentally. The pandemic has put a bit of a damper on my practice because I’m so social; I love the community, the group classes, the tough workouts and the high fives. I have friends who have studios and have transitioned their practices to online. I still see those people, but we’re not sweating together and pushing each other in the same way.
But there are lots of positives, too. It’s all on-demand, you can practice on your own schedule and you can take your teacher with you wherever you go.
As a yoga teacher and certified personal trainer, I’ve always enjoyed teaching indoors, but I’ve been happy to put that all on pause for now and focus on diving fully into this new experience. I’ll get back to it all once I settle in.
TLA: Tell us about your family. What was it like growing up in SoCal?
JI: I grew in Cerritos in a Filipino household. My dad passed away three years ago, but my mom is still there. I see her a lot, thankfully she’s been vaccinated so we make it a point to spend time together. I have one sister whom I’m very close to and a niece and nephew that I dote on. Growing up, my parents both worked full time and owned a Filipino restaurant that they both ran in the evenings after work in Long Beach. I spent a lot of time after elementary school at the restaurant so my ties to Long Beach ran deep which is why I ended up living there after law school.
When I think of the idea of family, I also think of my career. I spent 15 years working for one company, that was a family, too. There are long-timers there and people a lot older than me, but I don’t have anything to compare it to yet. I’ve heard from everyone here that TLA is like a big family, and from what I’ve seen so far, it’s true. I’m really excited to get to know my new Tucson family.