Ryan's practice encompasses a wide range of intellectual property ("IP") matters, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. He supports and negotiates IP issues, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements and IP-related terms and conditions in various other types of agreements, such as joint development, manufacturing, service, and sales agreements. He is a registered patent attorney and has significant experience with preparing, filing, and prosecuting patent applications in a broad range of technologies, including electronics, computer hardware and software, medical devices, and general mechanical technologies. Ryan has worked with entities ranging from Fortune 100 to start-up companies to capture and protect their IP and has experience advising clients concerning the strategic development and management of their IP portfolios.
- J.D., Florida Coastal School of Law, 1999
- B.S., Utah State University, 1995
- Representation of a biotech start-up company in developing and protecting their patent portfolio to position them for a $90 million+ acquisition by one of the largest DNA sequencing companies in the U.S.
- Representation of a large home appliance manufacturer in the prosecution of strategic patent applications
- Representation of a packaging company to provide IP due diligence prior to the sale of their packaging business
- Representation of a company in the preparation of product clearance/non-infringement opinion, as well as product development, prior to launching of new products into a crowded consumer market space
- Representation of a company in the development and filing of strategic patent applications prior to entering into a large government contract for military equipment
- Representation of a container company in the strategic development of a large patent portfolio to protect their innovative product designs to gain a competitive advantage in a traditionally low IP business space
- Representation of a companies in the retail online, banking, and tech space in response to patent infringement assertions from non-practicing entities
Honors and Distinctions*
- Trade Mark Star and Patent Star, "IP Stars," Managing IP, 2022
- "The Best Lawyers in America," Best Lawyers®, 2021-2023
Professional and Community Affiliations
- American Bar Association—Section: Intellectual Property Law
- American Intellectual Property Law Association
- New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Craven Alumni Association; Leadership Craven Alumnus, Class of 2012)
- North Carolina Bar Association—Section: Intellectual Property Law
Admitted to Practice
- North Carolina, 2010
- Vermont, 2006
- Florida, 2000
- United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2000
- All state courts in North Carolina
- All state courts in Florida
- All state courts in Vermont
My motto is, If you don't try, you won't know. I admire my clients' creativity and courage to put it all on the line in pursuit of their passion/dreams. The best thing about Ward and Smith is its culture, which is rooted in exceptional client service and teamwork.
One surprising thing people don't know about me is I was an alligator hunter in Florida for a brief period of time. I was also a high school Biology teacher.
I would love to live on a boat, because I love fishing and the ocean and living on a boat would allow me to always be close to the ocean and the ability to fish as much as I want.
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are my favorite fictional characters. They were always up for a good adventure and just knew how to have fun!
* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: www.bestlawyers.com; businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.
Highlights + Insights
USPTO Issues New Patent Eligibility Guidance in Berkheimer Memorandum
Additional Guidance for Post-Alice Prosecution
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