Ryan M. Watson serves as Senior Associate General Counsel for West Virginia University. As a Senior Associate General Counsel, Ryan primarily focuses on industry sponsored research and innovation engagements; intellectual property matters, including patent law; technology license agreements; business transactions; and state procurement. Ryan works closely with the Office of Procurement, Contracting & Payment Services; Department of Athletics; Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute; John Chambers College of Business & Economics and its Vantage Ventures; West Virginia University Research Corporation; Office of Technology Transfer; and Office of Sponsored Programs.
Prior to joining WVU, Ryan had a career as an engineer at Milliken & Company and the Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). At DOE NETL, Ryan led competitive solicitations totaling more than $36M in funding for cybersecurity research and development and smart grid technologies and managed multi-million dollar projects in the areas of cybersecurity for energy delivery systems, smart grid technologies, energy policy, and energy assurance planning. Ryan attended law school while working as an engineer and began his legal career in 2017 as an associate at Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC, located in Bridgeport, WV. Ryan's practice focused in the areas of energy litigation and corporate defense matters, including patent infringement. With Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC, he represented a variety of clients, ranging from small local businesses to some of the area’s largest energy companies. Ryan is admitted to practice in the state courts of West Virginia, the United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia and is a registered patent attorney licensed to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). A native of Parkersburg, West Virginia, Ryan received his Juris Doctorate from the WVU College of Law in 2015 and his undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from WVU in 2008. Ryan resides in the Morgantown area with his wife and two daughters.