"The staff objections mirror those from opponents of the patent system in Europe and the US and opponents to any extension of patents to cover software. A common argument from those opponents is that examiners are not strict enough in policing patent quality. […] "These rights can easily be misused to put smaller entities under pressure and stifle rather than promote innovation. We have been warned by the evolution of the American patent system that has provoked much headache and dispute on the other side of the Atlantic. Ultimately, the European consumer will pay the bill for such a distortion of competition," she said."