European Patent Office staff on strike
19 September 2008
BRUSSELS — Patent examiners and other staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) demonstrated outside the European Commission offices Thursday, demanding a thorough re-examination of the EPO.
They claim that the organisation is decentralising and focusing on granting as many patents as possible to gain financially from fees generated.
In 2007 the national patent offices had an income of EUR 300 million from patents granted by the EPO.
The staff union, SUEPO, say that lowering the quality of patents will have a disastrous effect on innovation which will affect every consumer. Their ‘Save The EPO’ campaign is not aimed at increasing wages but in reinforcing patent quality.
A delegation of Commission officials was invited to talks after the demonstration where the SUEPO requested a general study on patent quality and a review of the administration of the EPO, highlighting the importance of innovation as a generator of employment in Europe.
Further discussions were held on Friday.
Text: Andy Carling / Expatica
Photo credits: Andy Carling