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Kris Fredrick
Kris Fredrick

Breaking the Ice: IP practice grows with move to new firm

Name: Kris Fredrick

Title: Partner, Quarles & Brady, intellectual property group

Education: Physics, B.A., Gustavus Adolphus College; J.D., William Mitchell College of Law

Kris Fredrick, partner at Quarles & Brady, is expanding his intellectual property practice as the Milwaukee-based national firm expands its Minneapolis presence.

Fredrick, whose hiring was announced in March, is one of four attorneys in Quarles & Brady’s rapidly growing Minneapolis office, which opened in September.

Fredrick rose to the role of general counsel and IP counsel of Honeywell’s research division during his 20-year career there. He most recently served as legal counsel for a technical university in Stockholm.

“It was a lot of fun working with Honeywell and seeing the products from conception all the way through production,” Fredrick said. “What I have the opportunity to work with at Quarles is multiple clients and multiple industries.”

Clients likely will include companies ranging from very small to Fortune 50 in size, Fredrick said.

“I’ll work with the inventors on protecting that technology as well as in-house counsel helping them commercialize that technology,” Fredrick said.

Q. What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?

A. The easiest way is for someone to mention something they’ve read in a magazine or in the newspaper. Telling me some fact that they’ve learned is good, because I tend to take an interest in subjects that I’m not familiar with.

Q. What prompted you to study law and pursue it professionally?

A. A college roommate encouraged me to go to law school. I was studying physics but didn’t want to narrow my focus that much. When intellectual property popped up as an opportunity to work with technologies from a lot of different inventors, that really appealed to me.

Q. What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?

A. “The Second Kind of Impossible,” by Paul Steinhardt. It’s a description of how he developed a new form of matter.

Q. What is a pet peeve of yours?

A. After having worked in Europe and working with U.S. companies from Europe I get frustrated when people consider their time zone the most important on the planet. When you schedule a teleconference with someone in another country please consider the inconvenience to the other party.

Q. What are your favorite aspects of being an attorney?

A. Sitting with an inventor to discuss their latest invention. It’s rewarding to help them protect what they’ve developed.

Q. Least favorite?

A. One negative experience was in a deposition. The opposing counsel belittled everyone, yelling and trying to appear very intimidating. Ultimately it didn’t work. But it made for an uncomfortable experience.

Q. What’s a favorite activity outside your job?

A. My kids got me started rock climbing. I enjoy it because each route you can consider a problem that you have to solve. Plus wearing all of the rock climbing gear is a lot of fun. When you get to the top of the route it’s an accomplishment that you can celebrate.

Q. If someone visits you in your hometown, what would you take them to see or do?

A. Having lived in Sweden I would take them to the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis to see Scandinavian culture, artwork and artifacts. They have a fantastic restaurant there.

Q. Is there an attorney or judge, past or present, whom you admire most?

A. David Hoiriis. He’s retired but was the chief IP counsel at Honeywell. He gave me my first job. I realize now that he learned that being stressed out when you’re faced with a challenge

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