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EPO examiners take the streets in Brussels asking to "Save the EPO"

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| On Thursday, 18 September 2008, staff members of the European Patent Office
| (EPO) demonstrated in Brussels for a reform of its supervisory board.
| Examiners are complaining about the broken governance of the Institution.
| Examiners do not trust neither members of the Administrative Council, neither
| their President Brimelow. A patent examiner confessed that most of them were
| against software patents but as civil servants they were not allowed to speak
| out publicly about their concerns.


Strikes and Demonstrations of EPO Staff

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| The EPO staff are trying to make their voice heard by a series of actions
| against the undermining of the European Patent Organisation by its governing
| body and management (see below). In particular, on September 18th, a strike
| of EPO staff was observed by the vast majority at all four sites of
| employment, over 250 of whom travelled to Brussels to take part in a
| demonstration. The demonstration route went from Square Frère Orban to the
| Berlaymont, the seat of the European Commission. On the way, a petition was
| delivered at the German and British embassies (and subsequently also to the
| French embassy). At the Berlaymont, the seat of European Commission, speeches
| were held by the SUEPO chairmen as well as by Sylvie Jacobs, Vice-President
| of USF. On September 19th, a SUEPO delegation has further been invited to
| discuss their concerns with the European Commission.


More photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/quarsan/2867429759


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%.


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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