The consultation attracted about 2500 responses from stakeholders, many of whom are SMEs. It left no doubt as to the urgent need for action to provide a simple, cost-effective and high-quality patent system.
You will find the same rhetoric in the Commission's documents of last week:
The difficulties in making progress on patents and especially on the creation of a Community patent led the Commission to launch, in 2006, a broad consultation of all interested parties on the future patent system. The results leave no doubt on the urgent need for action to provide a simple, cost-effective and high-quality patent system in Europe.
The Communication is intended to draw operational conclusions from the stakeholder consultation and to allow the Council to launch deliberations on patent reforms, in particular on the Community patent and jurisdictional arrangements. It addresses various supporting measures for an improved patent system, such as patent quality, knowledge transfer and enforcement issues. Ministers will discuss the progress report on the Communication.
Apparently, the Commission did not received the "Worst Privilege Access 2006" award yet in its postal box:
DG Internal Market wins award for "worst privileged access"
The lobby-scrutiners group also presented a second award, that for the “worst priviledged access.” This went to the Directorate General Internal Market of the European Commission for its role in EU plans to create a single European patent system.
“This powerful European Commission department manipulated its stakeholder consultation process to legitimise its own controversial proposal for a single European patent system by marginalising critics from a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises,” the group said.
The Commission statement about "many of whom are SMEs" is coming from the difficulty for the Commission to have enough SMEs in the results before the deadline of 12 April 2006, forcing them to hunt for SMEs to get useful results:
Brussels, 10 July 2006. The Commission made an undercover move to get more "useful" answers following the 12 April closing date of its Patent Policy consultation. It sought out small firms across Europe who had used the patent system. It then provided these firms with new documentation and specialist assistance to help them write individual answers. None of the firms answering the online consultation got this help. But when the software firms in this new group came to the same conclusions as the FFII, the Commission concluded that these firms were "lacking knowledge about the patent system".
À cet égard, la consultation menée par la Direction générale Marché intérieur et services (DG Markt) sur la future politique des brevets en Europe n'est en aucun cas distincte de celle menée par le biais du "SME Panel".
Which gives in english:
To this regard, the consultation lead by General Directorate Internal Market and Services (DG Markt) on the future of patent policy in Europe is in any case distinct to the one lead by the mean of the "SME Panel".
What does the Commission do with the following documents (Community patent - the current proposal and Documentation about the EPLA, or Documentation about the EPO) which were not distributed during the public consultation?
Where are the contributions to the public consultation available online?