By-Laws

ARTICLE I

The name of this Association shall be "Wisconsin Intellectual Property Law Association."
 

ARTICLE II

The special objects of this Association shall be to cooperate with the American, Wisconsin, and Milwaukee County Bar Associations, to undertake such associate action and social intercourse as shall assist in making more definite, uniform and convenient the laws relating to patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and unfair competition and in the administration thereof, including the rules of practice in administrative agencies and in the Courts, and to hold discussions concerning and to take action about such other matters hereafter to arise as may be of common interest.
 

ARTICLE III

Section 1. The Association shall be composed of members who are eligible and qualified for membership according to the following classifications:

  • Honorary Members - Judges of the U.S. District Courts in the state of Wisconsin and other persons distinguished in law, science, or letters, who shall be proposed by the Board of Directors and elected by a majority vote of the active members present at any regular or special meeting of the Association. Honorary Members shall be exempt from payment of dues and shall not be entitled to vote or hold office.
  • Active Members - Attorneys who are interested in the branches of law relating to patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and unfair competition and who are members in good standing of the Bar of any court of record of the United States or any State or Territory thereof or of the District of Columbia, and/or persons who are admitted to practice in the Patent and Trademark Office and engaged in preparing the prosecuting applications for patents. Active Members shall be proposed and elected as hereinafter provided and only active members shall be entitled to vote on the election of members and on matters concerning the affairs of the Association.
  • Auxiliary Members - Persons engaged in pursuits involving an interest or knowledge concerning patents, trademarks, or copyrights and the law and practice pertaining thereto. Auxiliary members shall be proposed and elected in the same way as active members and pay the same dues, but shall not be entitled to vote or hold office.
  • Associate Members - Former active or auxiliary members retired from active practice may on request and approval by the Board of Directors be associate members. Associate members shall pay associate membership dues, but shall not be entitled to vote or hold office.
  • Law Student Members - Regularly enrolled students in ABA approved law schools may, on request and approval by the Board of Directors, become Law Student Members. Law Student Members shall not be entitled to vote or hold office and shall not be required to pay any membership dues.

Section 2. Applications for active, law student, and auxiliary membership shall be made to the Board of Directors in writing, each of such applications to be signed by the applicant and endorsed by at least two (2) active members of the Association. The Board of Directors shall have power to elect or reject any applicant for membership at any time after five (5) days notice of said application shall have been mailed by the Secretary, to the members of the Association. At the next meeting of the Board of Directors after said five (5) days shall have expired, a vote shall be taken on each application pending, and if requested by any member of the Board of Directors present at such meeting, shall be by written ballot. Two negative votes shall act as a rejection of the application. At the request of a member of the Board of Directors any application may be laid over until the next meeting of said Board.

Section 3. Any member of this Association who, after a full hearing by the Board of Directors, shall be found by the affirmative vote of five (5) members of said Board to have conducted his/her practice in an unethical or unprofessional manner shall be suspended or dropped from the roll of members.
 

ARTICLE IV
OFFICERS AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1. The officers of this Association shall be a President, a President-Elect, and a Secretary who shall also perform the duties of Treasurer. These officers, the last past President, and four (4) other active embers of the Association, shall constitute a board of eight (8) directors. The directors and other officers of this Association shall hold their respective offices until their successors have been elected and shall take office. The President-Elect and the Secretary shall each be elected as such officers for one (1) year and the President-Elect whose term is then expiring shall automatically assume the office of President for the ensuing year. The four (4) elective members of the Board of Directors shall be elected for two (2) years as hereinafter provided.

Section 2. President and President-Elect - The President shall preside over all meetings of the Association and of the Board of Directors; and in his/her absence the President-Elect shall preside over all such meetings. Except for the Nominating Committee provided in Article V. The President shall appoint such standing and other committees as, in his/her judgment, may be necessary to assist in conducting the activities of the Association. The President shall further discharge the duties usually pertaining to the office of President.

Upon the resignation of the President or upon his/her inability to act, the duties of President shall devolve upon the President-Elect, who shall act as President until the vacancy is filled or the inability shall cease.

Section 3. Secretary - The Secretary shall, until further order of the Association, also act as Treasurer and shall discharge all the duties usually pertaining to the said respective offices including the issuing of notice of all meetings and the billing for annual dues, as hereinafter provided. The Secretary shall also prepare a roster of membership for the Association. In case another is elected as Treasurer, the Secretary and not the Treasurer shall be a member of the Board of Directors.

Section 4. Board of Directors - The Board of Directors shall have general charge of the affairs, funds, and property of the Association. It shall consist of eight (8) active members, of which three (3) shall be officers of the Association and one (1) shall be the last past President, as provided in Section 1 of this article. The remaining four (4) Directors shall be divided into two (2) classes, to be elected biennially and to serve for two (2) years. The two (2) classes shall be elected on alternate years.

The Board of Directors shall have power to fill by appointment any vacancy which may occur in any office or in the membership of the Board or of the Nominating Committee, such appointment to be for a term not longer than until the next annual election and the acceptance of office by the person elected to fill such vacancy. Four (4) members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

The President, the President-Elect during the absence of the President, or any two (2) members of the Board of Directors, may call a meeting of said Board.
 

ARTICLE V
MEETINGS AND ELECTIONS

Section 1. Annual meetings of the Association shall be held at such time prior to July 15th of each year as may be selected by the Board of Directors, and notice thereof shall be mailed to each member at least seven (7) days prior to such meeting.

Other meetings of the Association may be held at such time as may be determined by the Board of Directors, and special meetings may be called at any time by the President, or in his/her absence, by the President-Elect, or by three (3) members of the Board of Directors or by any ten (10) active members of the Association upon reasonable notice.

Section 2. At the annual meeting of the Association, officers and directors, according to their classes, shall be elected by ballot, and upon acceptance shall take office on the July 1st following such election.

A Nominating Committee consisting of the past Presidents for the three (3) preceding expired terms, with the junior past President acting as Chairman, shall select and prepare a list of nominees for directors and officers, the positions to be filled at the annual election. It shall report its nominations to the Secretary who shall give notice of such nominations by mail to the members of the Association at least one (1) week before the annual meeting.

Other candidates for the various offices to be filled at the annual election may be nominated by any two (2) members at the annual election.

In the event two (2) or more candidates are nominated for any office, the vote shall be taken by secret written ballot, and the candidate receiving a plurality of the votes cast shall be declared elected. Otherwise the vote may be by acclimation.

Section 3. At any meeting of the Association, the right to vote shall be limited to active members and any such member may vote in person or by written proxy filed with the Secretary.
 

ARTICLE VI
INDEBTEDNESS, DUES AND MEMBERSHIP FEES

The Board Directors shall not incur indebtedness in excess of the actual funds in the treasury at any time. The Board of Directors shall have power at its first meeting each year to set the initial membership fee for active and auxiliary members and to call from each active and auxiliary member such sum of money as annual dues as, in the judgment of the Board, shall be necessary to meet the expenses of the Association for the current year, PROVIDED, that the annual dues so to be established shall not for any year, in the absence of action to the contrary by the Association, be in excess of the sum of Sixty Dollars ($60). The member serving as Secretary of this Association shall be exempt from the payment of annual dues.

Annual dues for each associate member shall be established by the Board of Directors and shall not exceed one-half (l/2) the dues for active members.

The initial membership fee shall be no less than the annual dues for the current year. The initial membership fee shall accompany the application for membership and the receipt thereof shall exempt the applicant from the payment of the annual dues for the current year.

The honorary members shall not be required to pay an initial membership fee or annual dues.

Any active, associate, or auxiliary member who shall fail to pay his/her dues or assessments within thirty (30) days after being notified of such failure by mail by the Secretary, may be dropped from the roll of members by action of the Board of Directors.
 

ARTICLE VII
NOTICES

The Secretary shall mail notices to the last address of each member of the Association as the same may appear upon the books of the Association, of all annual and special meetings of the Association, for the annual meetings seven (7) days in advance thereof and for special meetings of the Association five (5) days in advance thereof.
 

ARTICLE VIII
AMENDMENTS

Amendments to the By-Laws may be made at any regularly called business meeting of the Association by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the active members present, PROVIDED that the proposed amendments shall have been approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors or by ten (10) active members, in writing but not otherwise. Notice of the Proposed Amendments with a copy of the same shall be mailed to each active member at least five (5) days before such meeting.

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Wisconsin Intellectual Property Law Association

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