For those of you who wonder why we can't just file an application for a worldwide patent, I guess the time will eventually come. Here's a snippet from the European Patent Office: http://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2012/20121108a.html. As you can see, the wheel is turning slowly.
This will of course change the landscape significantly for us patent practitioners. Personally, however, I am happy to continue working with my local clients. I doubt that it will ever be possible to automate the drafting of an effective patent specification. That said, given Europe's other problems, don't hold your breath waiting for the world patent.