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Boyle cuts to the chase in IP law

Boyle cuts to the chase in IP law

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Intellectual property law is no place for sugarcoating, according to James Boyle, a founding shareholder at Boyle Fredrickson SC, Milwaukee.

The often complex cases require frank honesty and realistic expectations, he said.

“If (the client) has a good case, I’ll say so,” Boyle said. “If there are problems or bad news, I’ll say that. If there are unresolved issues or a qualification, which is often the case, I’m not afraid to say ‘It depends,’ but then try to explain and give clear reasons on why it depends and what the options or repercussions might be.”

Since the firm’s start in 1999, Boyle Fredrickson has grown into one of Wisconsin’s largest intellectual property boutique law firms with clients from around the world.

While the work can sometimes get complicated, Boyle said, with helping manufacturers obtain patents and trademarks or counseling them on infringement questions, he relies on his solid listening skills.

“I try to understand his or her concern, determine what issues or facts are most important, ignore those that are irrelevant and hopefully find a solution or course of action that meets the client’s needs and does so hopefully in a manner that is reasonably easy and cost efficient,” he said.

Michael Gratz, a fellow attorney at Boyle Fredrickson, said Boyle doesn’t like to draw attention even though he has a long list of accomplishments and accolades.

“While Jim is an exceptional lawyer and community leader, he is also very humble,” Gratz said. “It was only after much arm twisting that I was able to get him to agree to let me nominate him as a Leader in the Law.”

Boyle, who has four children with his wife, Meg, is active in the community, especially at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church & School in Wauwatosa. He also leads a fundraising committee for building improvements at Divine Saviors Holy Angels High School and devotes time to Westmoor Country Club in Brookfield and his alma mater, Marquette University.

Whether dealing with clients or working with community leaders, Boyle said he values honesty above all.

“I try to be practical and get to the heart of the matter, whatever it may be, as promptly as possible,” he said. “I also try to be very honest, straightforward and factual.”


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