Speaking today at the European Patent Forum in Prague, EPO President Alison Brimelow stated that to descibe current application trends at the office as "bumpy" would be to use traditional British understatement. Without providing concrete figures, Brimelow stated that the fluctuations the EPO had seen in 2008 were getting stronger in 2009, with periods of decline interspersed with others where activity is much stronger. Patent applications had held up well in previous recessions, she said, but this downturn could be different - although, she continued, it will only be possible to get an accurate picture of what is really happening in the second half of 2009.

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