European Patent Office staff on strike

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European Patent Office staff demanding for improvement in patent quality demonstrated outside the European Commission office on Thursday.

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.

Patent examiners and other staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) demonstrating outside the European Commission offices Thursday. Photo by Andy Carling.

 

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.

Their 'Save The EPO' campaign is aimed at reinforcing patent quality. Photo by Andy Carling.

 

Text: Andy Carling / Expatica
Photo credits: Andy Carling

1 Comment To This Article

  • Mark posted:

    on 23rd September 2008, 23:58:45 - Reply

    Great news for EU citizens! Good for the striking staff of the EPO.

    What has happened in the US - and is still happening - should serve as a warning here. The vested interests of a small minority (including those in charge of these patent organisations who should know better but let their greed rule them) must not be allowed to pollute what's good for all European businesses.

    This is a victory for common sense and probity, and I applaud the strikers.

    This is a bad day for corrupt and greedy individuals. Hurray!