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European Patent Office staff to demonstrate for reforms

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| The international Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) has
| called on the staff of the office to strike on Thursday 18th of September,
| and to demonstrate in Brussels for a reform of its supervisory board. The
| strike and demonstration are timed to coincide with meeting in the Belgian
| capital of the executive of the patent office, under its president Alison
| Brimelow, to seek approaches to a "strategic renovation". The employee
| representatives expect around 300 staff members from the patent offices in
| Munich, Berlin, The Hague and Vienna to attend the protest rally.


EPO examiners do not trust Brimelow for her quality reforms

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| According to an EPO internal staff survey of June 2008, only 9% of the EPO
| examiners believes that "Brimelow and the Vice-Presidents actively promote
| patent quality". Brimelow is progressing, since Alain Pompidou, the former
| President, had a trust of only 7%.


Just in time for the worldwide protests against software patents.


Intellectual Property Regime Stifles Science and Innovation, Nobel Laureates

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| Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede
| the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “patent
| thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued
| for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure
| to encourage innovation, he said.
| Another problem is that the social returns from innovation do not accord with
| the private returns associated with the patent system, Stiglitz said. The
| marginal benefit from innovation is that an idea may become available sooner
| than it might have. But the person who secures the patent on it wins a
| long-term monopoly, creating a gap between private and social returns.

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