MADISON – Efforts to change U.S. patent laws and the possible effects on high-tech company growth in Wisconsin will be the topic of the July 31 luncheon meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network in Madison.

 Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, will talk about WARF’s current view of bills advancing in Congress. WARF is the private, non-profit organization that handles patents and commercial license agreements that stem from research disclosures at the UW-Madison. Comments and question-and-answers will follow.

 The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Hotel on Madison’s John Nolen Drive. Registration and networking begin at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the presentation at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $25 for WIN members, $35 for non-members and included with WIN corporate memberships.

 To register online, go to

The Patent Reform Act of 2007 (introduced as H.R. 1908 and S. 1145) would update current patent laws, creating a “first-to-file” system. The American system is the only one in the world that still grants patents to the first inventor rather than the first to file an application. The bill also would streamline the method of challenging the validity and enforceability of patents.

The bill has been applauded by companies such as Cisco Systems, Dell, Apple, Microsoft, Time Warner, Visa and Chevron, and opposed by organizations such as WARF, the National Association of Manufacturers, BIO and many investors.

WIN is the membership subsidiary of the Wisconsin Technology Council, the independent, non-profit science and tech policy advisers to the governor and the Legislature. To join WIN, go to or call 608-442-7557, ext. 50.