The EPO is now publishing a supplement with its Patent Information News newsletter that covers data and technical topics formerly covered in the INPADOC Patent News. e.g. Legal status codes, country coverage, etc. The first issue contains a nice overview of patent procedure in the U.S.
The latest issue of PIN also states that the EPO will cease production of the ESPACE WORLD DVD at the end of 2010; this product contained digital copies of PCT applications. Three other DVD products, ESPACE ACCESS, FIRST and ACCESS-EPC, are also slated to disapper. The data contained in them is now be available in a new online database called the Global Patent Index (GPI).
Thus marks another step in the long retreat from DVD as a media for disseminating patent info.
I'm the librarian for research services in the Engineering and Science Library at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. I've been working with patent information since 1991, including seven years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I believe that the dissemination of patent information is a public good and should be promoted, especially in the education of science and engineering students.