The European Patent Office (EPO) was hit last week by a strike by staff who were demanding not better pay and conditions but the freedom to help create better quality patents. Around 250 staff took part in the strike and a march through Brussels demanding better governance of the EPO, according to the EPO staff union, SUEPO. A …
That the patent system worldwide is broken isn't really news. But it's good to see that things are happening.
Is this one of the first stories to make you not ashamed to be human? Wow!
good on them, someone standing up for what they belive in. Now if the US can follow maybe we won't have the...
"Handheld unit to contol something on some electric or mechanical device" type patents getting through...
If the EPO goes the way of the American Patent system we may as well just close down all the universities and declare science and innovation to be a dead concept.
Cos anything that anyone even dreams about will get patented, companies will worldwide patent any concept imaginable, in the hope that some actual clever person invents it for them so they can patent troll a fortune out the poor buggers.
Seriously, the US is fucked, lets not follow them.
Innovation causes patents. Patents don't cause innovation.
At best, they provide an incentive to *commercialize* an innovation in markets where the time-to-copy would be too low to otherwise commercialize the idea.
At some point this has been lost on management of the EPO and US PTO. They start to flip the causal link, patents now *are* innovation, so if they issue twice as many then there is twice as much innovation. Look at those stupid business process patents, and other subprime patents. Trying to make places that can be patented to grant more patents regardless of benefit. Software for example, more about locking Microsoft and Adobe into their markets than creating innovation.
Like all fake bubbles, if they continue to do this, we will end up with the bubble bursting, where nobody can make anything in the west because it's too expensive paying all the 'inventors' to use their 'inventions'.
Lets get the quality better before that happens.
Good on them
Nice to know it is the guys in the fancy offices, not the people who actually read patents, who are causing all the problems.
Why on earth can't patent offices be held accountable for the economic damage they do by awarding trivial or unoriginal patents? If they had the prospect of a massive payout to cover the costs of a company that has to knock down a patent that should never have been awarded in the first place then they might be a bit less keen to create the problem in the first place.
you go peeps, nice to see the people in the trenches are sticking it to the PHBs