26 Jan WARF director to advise U.S. patent office
Madison, Wis. — Carl Gulbrandsen, the managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, will serve a three-year term on the national Patent Public Advisory Committee, officials have announced. He will help guide the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in its procedures.
Gulbrandsen first found out about his appointment through a letter in December from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans. Now a part-time federal government employee, he is the first member of the patent committee to come from a university-administered patent organization.
“Carl Gulbrandsen is well-known and well-respected in his field and represents an organization that epitomizes one of USPTO’s important constituencies, universities,” said Brigid Quinn, a spokesperson for the patent office. “Universities account for a significant amount of breakthrough science and technology that is patented and commercialized as products that improve our quality of life, often in the area of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.”
The advisory committee is a group of nine voting and three nonvoting members that was created by the American Investors Protection Act of 1999. The nine voting members represent unaffiliated inventors, small-business owners, lawyers and executives of large corporations, while the three nonvoting members represent labor associations.
These 12 members counsel the director of the patent office, John Dudas, in matters that concern the creation and management of United States patents and trademarks. The members also prepare annual reports for the Senate and House judiciary committees, Evans and President Bush.
“[Gulbrandsen will] advise the secretary of commerce on intellectual property, and the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on matters relating to the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patent operation,” said Kristi Sullivan, an assistant to Gulbrandsen.
His appointment was supported by U.S. Representatives F. James Sensenbrenner, a Republican in Brookfield, Wisconsin, who is the House Judiciary Committee Chair, and Mark Green, a Republican in Green Bay.
Because his position is only part-time, he will do much of the committee work in Wisconsin, flying out to Washington, D.C., for committee meetings.
“Mr. Gulbrandsen will still function as WARF’s managing director,” Sullivan said.