Ryan’s practice focuses on representing companies in the life science and information technology industries. These range from Fortune 500 enterprises to start-ups, and include biotechnology, medical device, software, and pharmaceutical companies. Ryan assists with disputes, strategy, corporate and transactional matters, as well as with obtaining intellectual property rights including patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret protections. His diverse educational and practice background allows him to contribute new perspectives and a business-oriented mindset to both conflicts and transactions. Managing Intellectual Property magazine named him as one of the fifty most influential people in intellectual property in 2019.
Ryan most famously managed a major international litigation and prosecution effort involving the first patent applications to disclose inventions generated by an artificial intelligence without a traditional human inventor (“AI-Generated Inventions”). The applications, filed in seventeen jurisdictions, list the AI as the inventor, and the human owner of the AI, whom Ryan represents, as the patent owner. On June 28, 2021, the Times of London reported that this effort successfully resulted in the world’s first patent for an AI-Generated Invention in South Africa. Two days later, Justice Beach in the Federal Court of Australia issued an extensive reasoned decision to the same effect. Thaler v Commissioner of Patents  FCA 879. As of September 2021, these applications had been denied by patent offices in the US, UK, Germany and Europe—but judicial appeals from these denials are ongoing. Ryan is directly responsible for the litigation in the US and UK (together with Williams Powell in the UK) and managing the other actions.
Less famously, Ryan has managed numerous contentious matters ranging from multi-million dollar commercial disputes between large entities, to patent litigation and litigation involving complex technologies such as cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance platforms, to disputes involving wrongful termination and wrongful death.
Outside of the firm, Ryan is a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS, Professor of Law and Health Sciences at the University of Surrey School of Law, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is the author of The Reasonable Robot: Artificial Intelligence and the Law published by Cambridge University Press in 2020, and his legal research has also been published in a variety of leading journals and books. He is regularly featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times. Ryan also works as an expert witness which has included testifying in federal court.
Ryan is a physician, attorney (licensed in California and New York), and patent attorney in the United States, as well as a solicitor advocate in England and Wales. He is board-certified by the American Board of Legal Medicine (ABLM). Ryan is a graduate of the University of Surrey School of Law (PhD), Yale Law School (JD), University of California, San Diego School of Medicine (MD), Emperor’s College (MTOM), and University of California, Los Angeles (BS).
University of Surrey School of Law
Yale Law School
University of California San Diego
School of Medicine M.D., 2011
summa cum laude
University of California Los Angeles
summa cum laude
California, New York, U.S.D.C.
Central District of California
Eastern District of New York
Southern District of New York
U.S.C.A., Federal Circuit
Registered Patent Attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
General Counsel of a biotechnology company from the time it went from preclinical development to phase two clinical trials.
Outside general counsel and head of intellectual property to a variety of emerging companies.
Counsel for numerous early-stage companies assisting with corporate formation, financing, and contractual matters.
Counsel to an information technology company threatened by a large multinational corporation with intellectual property infringement. The case ended with a substantial settlement for the information technology company.
Counsel to a plaintiff alleging conversion of cryptocurrency by a decentralized finance platform.
Counsel to a physician alleging wrongful termination and subsequent retaliation from a large practice group.
Counsel to a dietary supplement manufacturer suing an exclusive foreign distributor for breach of contract.
Counsel to a variety of clients managing all aspects of intellectual property protection, including successful international patent and trademark prosecution.
Successfully defended against trademark oppositions.
Patent invalidity and freedom to operate opinions.
Amicus (friend of the court) counsel for appellant who lost a trial for medical expenses for a lung transplant. The Appellate opinion held that immigration status is irrelevant to a personal injury action not claiming damages for lost earnings or earnings capacity, and that immigration status is not relevant to credibility.
Abbott, Ryan. The Reasonable Robot: Artificial intelligence and the Law, Cambridge University Press (2020)
Abbott, Ryan. I Think, Therefore I Invent: Creative Computers and the Future of Patent Law, Boston College Law Review, Vol. 57, No. 4 (2016).
Abbott, Ryan and Ian Ayres. Evidence and Extrapolation: Mechanisms for Regulating Off-Label Uses of Drugs and Devices, 64 Duke L.J. 377 (2014).
Abbot, Ryan. World Intellectual Property Organization, Documenting Traditional Medical Knowledge (2014).
Abbott, Ryan. Big Data and Pharmacovigilance: Using Healthcare Information Exchanges to Revolutionize Drug Safety, 99 Iowa L. Rev. 225 (2013).
Abbott, Ryan and Michael Cohen. Medico-Legal Issues in Cardiology. Cardiol Rev. 2013 Sep-Oct; 21(5):222-8.