MADISON (WKOW) -- The University of Wisconsin-Madison is asking state lawmakers for an exemption from state open-records law.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports university officials say the exemption would create the ability to keep research data private until it's published or patented, citing a change in federal law that could potentially allow a rival to learn about research through an open-records request.
Advocates of transparent government claim the exemption is not necessary, saying current law already allows the university to deny requests in cases where it can cite a legitimate reason for doing so.
The Journal Sentinel reports UW-Madison officials are circulating a two-page memo among Republican lawmakers that suggests language for a bill.
U.S. patent law was changed earlier this year to a first-to-file system, in which the right to receive a patent rests with the first person to file a patent application regardless of the actual invention date.