h4rm0ny writes "Last Friday, staff at the European Patent Office went on strike. They protested outside for several hours and issued a statement claiming that 'the organisation is decentralising and focusing on granting as many patents as possible to gain financially from fees generated.' They also declared this as being disastrous for innovation and that their campaign was not for better wages, but for better quality patents. Meanwhile, an article on it discusses the US's own approach to dealing with the increasing flood of patent applications: a community patent project to help identify prior art. It might sound like a grass-roots scheme, and maybe it is, but those roots include such patent behemoths as IBM. So it looks like on both sides of the Atlantic, some signs of sanity might be emerging in the patent world from those people right in the thick of it." Note, this was a half-day strike, not ongoing.