(WisBusiness) THURS News Summary — 28 February 2008

From WisBusiness.com …

— The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has been notified of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to uphold the claims of a key stem cell patent held by the non-profit foundation.

Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of WARF, said, “We’re extremely pleased with this decision. It affirms what WARF has believed all along, that Dr. Thomson’s breakthrough discoveries are patentable inventions.”

See the WARF press release:

— New Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy said Wednesday it’s likely Brett Favre will return for another season and that Favre will probably make his decision by the end of the month.

In a question-and-answer session before the Milwaukee Press Club, Murphy praised Favre’s leadership skills, but reminded people that there is a lot of training that goes into playing football and that Favre wants to make sure that he is up to that before he plays another season.

“If Brett Favre comes back it gives us the best chance to win the Super Bowl this year,” said Murphy.

Murphy said he has no plans to make any large changes right now as he feels that that organization is strong.

“We have a young team and the players are really looking forward to next year,” Murphy said.

See the WisBusiness story:

— Football24.7Wisconsin is touting a new survey it paid for that found almost two-thirds of respondents favored state legislation to create an arbitration system to resolve programming disputes such as those between the NFL Network and cable companies.

Just less than 22 percent of respondents said they oppose the bill, which Football24.7Wisconsin supports.

The survey of 500 registered voters, conducted by Mercury Public Affairs Feb. 21, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

*Read the release:

*Read the survey findings:

A WisPolitics/Checkpoint survey last year found 71 percent of respondents said they didn’t want the state involved in the dispute, while 24 percent said it should get involved. The survey of 400 likely voters was conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 4.

See a release on the WisPolitics/Checkpoint survey:


Explore “The Issues and Science behind the Pending Great Lakes Water Compact” March 5 at a special Blueprint Briefing at Discovery World on Milwaukee?s lake front.

The briefing, open to the public, will feature “Great Lakes Water Wars” author Peter Annin; Kevin Wilson, assistant deputy minister of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources; Todd Ambs, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s water division chief and member of the board of the Great Lakes Commission; Matt Moroney, executive director of the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee; and Ann Beier, director, Office of Environmental Sustainability,
City of Milwaukee.

UW-Milwaukee officials also plan a briefing on the science and research behind the policy immediately following the panel discussion.

The special briefing is being presented by WisPolitics.com-WisBusiness.com, UW-Milwaukee, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), the Government of Canada, and Discovery World.

See more and register:



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Press Releases
U.S. Cellular: U.S. Cellular and Milwaukee Brewers announce exclusive sponsorship agreement
WARF: United States Patent and Trademark Office upholds key WARF stem cell patent
Dept. of Commerce: Venture capital fair application now on-line
Football24.7Wisconsin: Survey says pass the FAN Act
Gov. Doyle: Announces $4 million in Harbor Assistance grants for Port of Superior
UW-Madison: Earlier plantings underlie yield gains in northern Corn Belt
Wisconsin Federation of Cooperatives: State’s electric cooperatives call on Gov. Doyle to sign electrician licensing bill

For these and more releases visit http://www.wisbusiness.com/index.iml?Content=82


WARF stem cell patent claim upheld by patent office: The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has won a key patent battle for one of its stem cell patents, after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office upheld the foundation’s claim to the patent. The decision affirms WARF’s contention that an initial UW-Madison human embryonic stem cell discovery is a patentable invention. The decision was announced in a press release this morning from WARF. The patent for the primate and human embryonic stem cell known as 913 was one of three under review by the patent office, following challenges brought by the New York-based Public Patent Foundation and the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

SCJ among companies probed for price-fixing: But Racine-based company may avoid punishment… SC Johnson is one of nine consumer products makers suspected of colluding on prices in France, a newspaper report said Wednesday. SC Johnson, however, is also credited with coming forward regarding the scheme. The other companies are European and U.S. firms including Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Sara Lee Corp., Germany’s Henkel KGaA, and Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro reported. If found guilty, the companies could face fines of up to 10 percent of their annual worldwide revenue — possibly amounting to billions of dollars, Le Figaro reported.

Bon-Ton exec: Company ‘not in jeopardy’: While Boston Store owner Bon-Ton Stores Inc. is laboring under heavy debt and shrinking sales, the company’s management — and also an analyst who downgraded the company — said Bon-Ton has access to cash that will enable the retailer to survive the storm. Recent downgrades of Bon-Ton’s outlook by credit ratings firms led to speculation that the regional department store chain could be a prime candidate for bankruptcy or default. While Bon-Ton faces challenges in the chilly retail environment, a bankruptcy filing hasn’t entered management’s thinking, the company’s chief financial officer said. “The company is not in jeopardy — we have plenty of borrowing flexibility,” CFO Keith Plowman said in an interview.

State plant testing carbon capture: Pleasant Prairie project will catch, release gas… For the next 10 months, the We Energies power plant near the Illinois border will be turned into the energy world’s equivalent of a military proving ground. The fight against global warming is fueling investment in a new technology that could capture up to 90% of the carbon dioxide released into the air by coal-fired power plants. Coal plants are a key contributor of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, and the results of the study could shape how the electric-power industry responds to concerns about greenhouse gas emissions. The test site sits next to the power plant, near equipment installed by We Energies in recent years to scrub other pollutants from coal-plant exhaust.


GREGG HOFFMANN: Contributor, WisBusiness.com

TOM STILL: President, Wisconsin Technology Council

JENNIFER SERENO: Senior manager, Wood Communications Group

STEVE JAGLER: Executive editor, Small Business Times

TOM BURZINSKI: IT executive and consultant

TECHNOLOGY (back to top)
– Same software, new outreach

– Kohl’s to tap solar power at two local stores

BIOTECH (back to top)
– Ethanol production prods plant construction

ECONOMY (back to top)
– Doyle believes economic development plan can clear Legislature

– Oil-tinged fuel fight hits home

– Charter’s quarterly loss grows

– R.R. Donnelley gets book order

MANUFACTURING (back to top)
– Paper Converting gets life under new owners

– Milwaukee Industrial claims city blocked businesses

LABOR (back to top)
– UW plan would offer 4-year degrees at 2-year centers

SMALL BUSINESS (back to top)
– North Wood Flooring makes its home in Coleman

– Devouring the paper trail

– Milwaukee-area entrants advance in business plan contest

INVESTING (back to top)
– Assisted Living Concepts revenue, profits slip

REAL ESTATE (back to top)
– Developer scoffs at condo competition

– Real estate firm denied widow access, lawsuit says

– Bytof receives real estate award

AGRIBUSINESS (back to top)
– Alto Dairy members agree to sell co-op

– State DNR Board Moves to Delay Ag Emissions Rule

– Meat Processor Investment Tax Credit Clears Assembly

TRANSPORTATION (back to top)
– DOT criticized on oversight of maintenance of bridges

– Megabus is a new option to Chicago

RETAIL (back to top)
– Historic Evansville department store gets major makeover

– UW to give ID scanners to some campus area bars

REGULATION (back to top)
– Debate on workplace smoke ban lights up

– Attorney general OKs refusal to disclose sales tax enforcement

– Violations of `No Call List’ top Wis. consumer complaints

TOURISM (back to top)
– Milwaukee Mile, State Fair Park amend pact

– Milwaukee Brewers, U.S. Cellular announce sponsorship

– Marcus Corp.’s Chicago hotel top Four Points property

UTILITIES (back to top)
– Pilot project at We Energies plant to cut greenhouse gas emissions

– Buchanan approves wind energy ordinance

HEALTH CARE (back to top)
– Panel pushes flu shots for kids

– Fewer banks turn profit

– Insurers hit by one wet winter

MANAGEMENT (back to top)
– Packers CEO speaks about leadership

– Justices hear Walgreens’ tax complaint

– Sabotage suspected at Milorganite plant

– Minahan succeeds Schnoll as Summerfest chairman

BUSINESS COLUMNS (back to top)
– Penelope Trunk: There’s a little entrepreneur in all of us

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