john-da-luthrun writes "Soaring numbers of patent applications for software and business processes is not only leading to the ludicrous patents for the likes of Amazon and Microsoft. The stress of dealing with vast numbers of applications is leading to an exodus of patent examiners from the USPTO, reports FCW.com. A US Government Accountability Office report (PDF) says that the USPTO has made progress in hiring examiners, 'but challenges to retention remain'. The IP Kat blog quotes Jason Schulz of the EFF, who comments that 'The incredible surge of patent applications, especially in the software and internet business method arena, is just crushing them, and the management problems are rising to the surface with greater visibility for those reasons. Where anything under the sun is patentable, it puts an unbelievable amount of pressure on the patent office'."