Monday, July 11, 2022

e-EQE2022: Main Exam - what to do after a pass or a fail

15-07-2022: added comments about translation errors.
14-07-22 - added note about split exams compensation.
13-07-22 - added "fit to practice" check during marking.

A big congratulations to all who passed at least at one exam. None of the exams are easy, and if you are unlucky, it is easy to miss something crucial or to misread a sentence.

The result totals and statistics are available here. The pass rate for B is higher than last year, and D is relatively high compared to previous years (not including D 2021 because of the global compensation for technical issues). 

Unfortunately, (since 2021) anonymized individual results are no longer made available, so we cannot calculate statistics or see the mark distributions per exam. Joeri Beetz has a nice website with extensive statistics for the older exams. We were told last year that this omission was due to a lack of capacity.

2021 "Pass rates" - candidates with 45 points or higher:

  • Nr of candidates: Main Exam = 2780, A = 1905, B = 2005, C = 1852, D = 2003
  • A  = 79%, B = 65%, C = 57%, D = 92% 
  • Passed last exam in 2021: 1093 (= 53 % of all ME candidates)

2022 "Pass rates" - candidates with 45 points or higher:

  • Nr of candidates: Main Exam = 1918, A = 886, B = 1158, C = 1400, D = 704
  • A  = 73%, B = 84%, C = 61%, D = 71% 
  • Passed last exam in 2022: 885 (= 46 % of all ME candidates)

The Examiners Reports for each exam are also available here. Unfortunately, the marking sheets are missing (they were included in 2021 and previous years). These are the same as each candidate receives, with a rough division of  available marks. I don't know why they are not included this year.

For each exam, the Examination Committees have selected Candidates' Answers in English, French and German who scored quite highly with an exam answer close to their desired solution. These are unedited, so they can contain mistakes. Unfortunately, the marking sheets for these candidates are still missing (they were also missing in 2021). These marking sheets were very useful for candidates trying to understand where they missed marks. We were told last year that this omission was due to a lack of capacity. 

Still to be published is the Survey report, summarising the answers provided immediately after the exam. It will appear here, at the bottom of the page. Hopefully, it will be back to it's pre-2020 extensive format. In 2021, it was merely a PR folder - we were told last year that this was due to a lack of capacity. 

In October (usually in week 42), there will be a meeting of Tutor's and the Examination Committees to directly discuss the exams of 2022, and to look ahead to EQE 2023. No definite date for the meeting is yet available. In 2021, it was online - no word yet if it will be back to an in-person gathering.

If you passed your last exam, double congratulations 🥇and welcome to the post-EQE world 💪. 

  • For attorneys, request entry onto the list of representatives. 
  • If you are a national of a non-EPC state and you wish to be on the list, you need to request an exemption under Art. 134(7). This involves extra administration - see the FAQ's. Preston Richard has made a template letter that you can use.
  • Relax and look forward to developing other aspects of your career.
  • Even though the epi has no formal requirement for permanent education, commit to keeping up your knowledge. You still need up-to-date knowledge to provide optimal services to your clients, especially of changes in EPO procedure:
    • Subscribe to a blog that regularly discusses case law and legal changes, like the IP.appify blog
    • Go through the yearly changes to the EPO guidelines and follow G decisions
    • Use your legal knowledge more in your daily work (see if a colleague needs help with an office action or opposition, give a presentation to your office, check whether your office procedures meet "all due care", teach subjects to trainees, write a legal article).
    • Attend or follow the EPO's education sessions related to Applying for a Patent, to Law and Practice, or for Patent Attorneys
    • Become a tutor, or volunteer for an Examination Committee
    • If you have added digital notes to EPC.app and PCT.app, they will be updated automatically each year.
Click on READ MORE > > for possible actions after a fail  

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Indexed EPO-EPC Guidelines (Mar 22) & Unitary Patent now available to order (EN)

For the order links, see: fireballpatents.com/study-materials

The EPO-EPC Guidelines for Examination detail the procedure to be followed before the EPO. It explains how the EPO implements the EPC, and covers their standard approach when dealing with the direct EP and Euro-PCT applications. These documented practices are based on standard interpretations of the law, internal policies and established case law, and can be used to predict the most likely objections and outcomes in a particular case. 

EPO practices are continuously updated, and once per year, the Guidelines are updated to reflect recent OJEPO's, G-decisions, J-decisions and selected T decisions. These EPO-EPC Guidelines (Mar 22) are expected to be legally valid from 1 Mar 22 to 28 Feb 23. 

We have also included the EPO's Unitary Patent Guide (Apr 22), which outlines how to obtain an EU Unitary Patent. The Unitary Patent is not yet in force, but it is expected to commence in early 2023. 

Our Indexed version improves on the official digital versions by abbreviating index entries, grouping them at the front to allow quick scanning, using page numbers to speed up finding pages, indicating sections with significant changes in the last 3 years, and fully using the page size to give a better overview of paragraphs. Relevant legal citations & references are underlined, making them easier to spot.

This book is suitable as a desktop reference for everyday use by attorneys and administrators. This is the most used reference for real life cases. We have retained the original order and numbering of the sections, so it can also be used with any EPC legal reference, such as EPC.App

It is also suitable for anyone studying European Patent Law and exam candidates. Exam candidates need to learn how the Guidelines are organised, what they contain (i.e. mainly EPO procedures, some substantive law) and how to find sections quickly. 

For EQE candidates, the EPO-EPC Guidelines are needed for each exam, and are considered essential for Pre-Exam and Paper D. The Guidelines are not legal basis themselves, but most of the EPC legal questions can be answered using the contents. However, answers should always be supported by Articles and Rules citations. The Mar 22 version is the official version for EQE 2023 Main Exam & Pre-Exam. Note that the Unitary Patent is not yet tested at the EQE.

Three editions in English are available (all have 532 pages):

  1. Portable A4 Edition - using thinner 50gr "bible paper" to reduce the thickness to 17mm and the weight to 825g.
  2. Study A4 Edition - using thicker 80gr paper, which is more suitable for intensive tabbing, annotating and highlighting. It is 28mm thick and weighs 1375g.
  3. Study Letter Edition - also using thicker paper, but made available through Amazon mainly for orders outside the EU (AU, CA, JP, UK, US). It is 31mm thick and weighs 1550g.

For more details, including the order links, and sample pages, see: fireballpatents.com/study-materials

Friday, May 13, 2022

Sign up to try the NEW e-EQE

After a lot of work behind the scenes, the EPO and epi have published their extensive proposals for the new e-EQE. There are even mock exams for you to try. And they want your feedback …

The proposal documents are on the New EQE pages of the EPO website. The consultation will run from the second half of May until 15 July 2022. The mock papers will be accessible in WISEflow, but you must sign up separately, even if you already have an account.

The proposal consists of 2 foundation and 4 main modules that gradually progress from acquiring legal and procedural knowledge towards its practical application.

The new format is adapted to online exam taking – the time on the computer during the exams will be shorter, and there is a combination of autoscoring (multiple choice) and open questions. The material that can actually be tested in each exam is therefore reduced, but that is compensated by having a broader range of situations that need to be prepared. These situations have all been explicitly mentioned in the proposal, so you can see exactly what you need to know.

I am already a big fan of M4 (Advising the Client) because it includes:

  1. Understand and know infringing activities (in comparative patent law),
    thus being capable of determining the rights conferred by a patent, their duration
    and which acts need to be performed to be able to enforce them.

Feedback can be provided by questionnaire once the mock papers are available. The earliest that these changes could be introduced is EQE 2024. They have already indicated that EQE 2023 will follow the current regulations and formats.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Still struggling with PCT ?

TLDR: the most advanced and comprehensive guide to PCT law & procedure
Welcome to PCT.App !

  • By IP.appify www.pctapp.net/en/pct-app
  • The only self-editable guide to PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty).
  • Readable on your mobile phone & tablet. It is extensively commented, with many summaries of key issues. The screenshot above is simulated"See Inside" for examples of actual screenshots.
  • Search full-text, and navigate with hyperlinks & cross-references to internal & external resources.
  • Organisation is chronological, mirroring the lives of PCT applications. 130 subjects include overviews and paragraphs from the most relevant provisions. All PCT Articles & Rules are included at least once.
  • Self-editable online using a browser. Freely adapt the references online with your own comments & highlighting, and hide any unwanted parts. For editing & modifying content, we recommend using a larger screen with a mouse & keyboard.
  • No need to transfer notes - legal updates are automatic without disturbing your individual content.
  • Make printable colour pdf's at any time, or use our Print-On-Demand service for color hardcopies.
  • Crucial for daily practice, essential for the EQE (Qualifying Exam for European Patent Attorneys).
  • Also available as a fully-commented black-and-white paper book. Editing and colour hardcopies are only available to online subscribers.

To Do in 2022:

  • Subscribe to PCT.App, the most advanced and comprehensive guide to PCT law & procedure.
  • For lawyerspatent attorneys and formalities officers.
  • Available in English and German.
  • By IP.appify www.pctapp.net/en/pct-app
  • "See Inside" for actual PC and mobile phone screenshots, explanation of the structuresample downloads, the Index and the Detailed Contents lists

Reviews & Recommendations:

Nominee - IPKat Book of 2021 / Yellow Sheet (Nov 21) / Salted Patent (Apr 21)

  • EPC.app and PCT.app helped me a lot in EQE Paper D - I did not even need to annotate it
  • Pete's PCT.APP book saved me on EQE Paper D1
  • I found it to be very good for EQE D exam. The plain language and keyword index made it work for me
  • Being able to edit the contents to how I see fit was a surprisingly easy experience
  • Organising PCT.App by subject in the order that an application would go through PCT gives an intuition that I haven’t found in other materials
  • How convenient to have Till & Pete update your go-to EPC & PCT so they are always up to date
  • Can´t recommend enough for EQE candidates as well as anyone in the profession
  • I always had the material, with my own annotations, available online and as a printed book

© IP.appify GmbH

Sunday, March 20, 2022

e-EQE: 18 Mar 2022 - Pre-Exam - copy to try yourself

  • Friday was the e-EQE Pre-Exam (Part 1: 1000-1110 CET - 70 mins, Part 2: 1130-1240 CET - 70 mins, Part 3: 1400-1510 CET - 70 mins and Part 4: 1530 - 1640 CET - 70 mins). 
  • If you want to try yourself, see here for the files: PE-1-2-3-4-questions-EN (2022), PE-3-printable-EN (2022), PE-3-printable-FR (2022), PE-4-printable-EN (2022), PE-4-printable-FR (2022). Sorry, no DE printable files.
  • The questions (only EN, sorry) and statements (in DE/EN/FR) were only available digitally, and have been extracted from candidate's answers. The questions from all parts have been combined in one file.
  • Unfortunately, the pages in the candidate copy are saved as low-resolution screenshots, so it was not possible to accurately OCR the text. The font is a little small, but certainly readable on-screen. 
  • The order of statements is randomised between candidates, so statement numbers have not been used.

Friday, March 18, 2022

e-EQE: 18 Mar 2022 - Pre-Exam - (copy in separate post) last exam

Updated 20 Mar 22: copy to try yourself is in separate post
Updated 18 Mar 22: some technical and language problems

Today was the e-EQE Pre-Exam (Part 1: 1000-1110 CET - 70 mins, part 2: 1130-1240 CET - 70 mins, part 3: 1400-1510 CET - 70 mins and part 4: 1530 - 1640 CET - 70 mins). Unfortunately, I was not able to get a copy of the questions, so I cannot share them. The copy to try yourself is in a separate post. The EPO normally makes good copies available in the compendium in the week after the EQE.

  • I am keeping my fingers crossed for all 2022 candidates 🤞🤞🤞. 
  • The choice of topics for the legal questions seemed different from previous years. After all the issues with calendars, they have decided not to require any time limit calculations. Coincidence?
  • I have not made it yet, but check the Telegram groups for some discussions and comments. Today there were not a lot of discussions - most seem to be happy to have survived the second eEQE, and to start the weekend early. Some short discussions about complexity. 
  • No widespread Some technical issues reported during Pre-Exam 👍👍👍 - see below
  • If you had any issues with the exam, report them as soon as possible to helpdesk@eqe.org. Formally, complaints must be formally filed no later than midnight on the day of the exam you are complaining about. I have helped update Preston Richard's template for EQE complaints to make the process a little easier, especially after a tiring day. Even if you have miss the formal deadline, submit all complaints that could affect your marking or performance as quickly as possible. You can also give a reason why you were not able to submit immediately after the exam, such as tiredness or needing to prepare for the next exam.

1. Thanks to the EQE organisation, and good luck with the marking
  • Thanks to all the invigilators, helpdesk staff, EQE secretariat members, and epi/EPO members who have been working tirelessly for the last few months to make it happen. Even under pretty stressful conditions (on both sides), many candidates had positive experiences of the invigilation system. 👍👍👍. 
    • the only issues seem to be with the capacity and thus the wait time
  • And good luck to those involved in the marking - at least you will not have to struggle with poor handwriting any more 😉, although there are a lot of spelling mistakes and copy/paste errors to puzzle over.

2. My suggestions to candidates after the eEQE
  • You survived the second eEQE 🥇
  • Put your TAB and WINKEY caps back 😀
  • Manually uninstall Lockdown Browser: in Win10, it is found in the start menu under Respondus
    • be suspicious of any emails mentioning WISEflow or Lockdown Browser
    • if you get any emails about "updates" of the Lockdown Browser, do not click on them. Only update through WISEflow.
  • Preferably unplug all the extra cameras and microphones. Or at least cover the cameras when not in use.
  • Take a couple of days off and celebrate 😉
  • Don't read blog posts about model answers. They are usually made by EQE nerds who made the exams under relaxed conditions. They could still be wrong. Even if it is a perfect answer, no-one knows where all the marks will be awarded. 
  • The marking sheets are only finalised after the exam following discussions within the committees about what to accept and what not. For example, if there was an issue almost no-one dealt with, they usually compensate by awarding marks for something else that most people got. The exams also have built-in fail-safes, so if you miss something, you will not lose marks everywhere. 

3. Telegram chat groups

  • Join the EQE Telegram groups to discuss issues with other candidates: Main group (324 members), Study group (133 members), ABC&PE-claims (206 members), D&PE-legal (166 members) and Marketplace (72 members). The groups are public, and open to any tutors or candidates. A few rules: treat others with respect, no discussion of cheating, no exchange of large sections of copyrighted materials (use of excerpts for study and discussion allowed). During scheduled exams, no discussion of the exam questions or answers. During mocks, no restrictions.
4. FLOWlock / Lockdown Browser
  • Many language errors in the navigation buttons
    • PE-1 and PE-2: button labels were in German, PE-3: button labels were in French, PE-4: button labels were in English. These languages could not be changed by changing the assignment language.
    • when the problem was reported, the invigilators provided translations 
    • the questions and statements were visible in DE, EN, and FR
  • Some problems handing-in Pre-exam answers
    • This was a major problem yesterday during C1 and C2. There it was related to the high number of candidates handing in relatively long exam answers. I am not sure of the numbers for Pre-Exam this year.
    • This is an area where WISEflow and the FLOWlock Browser work well - you need to first try refreshing (F5 "clockwise arrow" at the top left). If that does not work, contact the helpdesk who will guide you. 
    • There are many options available to the invigilator, including downloading your answer locally using an administrators menu and emailing it. FLOWlock Browser is continuously saving versions local and cloud versions of your answer. But always  check your answer to see if it seems complete.
    • Even if you managed to file your answer and everything seems fine, you should still file a complaint. it is unlikely that there will be problems, but just in case some of your answer got corrupted or appears missing. They can then double check if something looks strange during the marking.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

e-EQE: 18 Mar 2022 - Pre-Exam - good luck!

Final preparations
Updated 11 Mar 22: added entry photo requirements
Updated 10 Mar 22: clarify that you must print before starting FLOWlock Browser
  • This is a detailed exam schedule for Pre-Exam (PE) 2022, indicating scheduled and unscheduled break times. 
  • Don't forget your calendars
  • External Resources at www.epo.org are available online during the exam. For all other materials, such as PCT Applicants Guide, you will need to have them on paper.
  • Be prepared to contact the invigilators by chat widget, and be prepared to deal with FLOWlock Browser crashes. Only in emergencies and if the chat widget is not available, call the epo helpdesk: +49 89 2399 5155. Telephone lines are very limited - the chat widget is strongly recommended. Communication via email will not be dealt with.
  • Last year, candidates received an e-mail with a hyperlink just before the exam. This year, no email will be sent - the flows will made available well before each of your exams, so you will see them after logging into WISEflow.
  • Get everything ready early so you can relax. It is recommended to log-in 60 minutes before the start of the first flow. This will also give enough time to make sure that the room requirements are complied with, and to create your own evidence.
  • Print BEFORE starting the FLOWlock Browser: 10 minutes before the start of the exam, any printable documents will appear on the flow page. Click on the refresh icon (clockwise arrow) or press F5 to see them. 
    • It is also possible to print using a second computer logged into WISEflow, but this second computer must be turned off and out of reach during the exam.
During the exam
  • Have a valid official photo ID (identity card or passport) ready and keep it within easy reach during the whole exam. You MUST verify your identity at the start of EACH FLOW by holding your ID next to your face for the entry photo. See Instructions to Candidates ITC IV, 6.
  • During the exam, you must to stay in front of the camera - everything you want to use must be within arms reach. 
  • Don't lose track of time ⏰ during the scheduled lunch break - if you are more than 10 minutes late, you may need the invigilator password to start the flow
  • During scheduled exam times and scheduled breaks, don't go online discussing the exam or share confidential exam info, such as personal login details & invigilator passwords. Wait until the scheduled end of the last part of each exam - after that, you can freely discuss. But remember - no-one knows the expected answers and which alternatives will be accepted.
Make sure you answer ALL the questions
  • If you are not sure of an answer, or you know it will take a long time to figure it out or to look it up, leave the question(s) until the end. But make sure you give an answer to each question before the end of the part.

Good luck!

e-EQE: 17 Mar 2022 - C Exam - copy to try yourself

 Today was the e-EQE C Exam (Part 1: 0930-1230 CET - 180 mins and part 2: 1315 - 1615 CET - 180 mins). If you want to try yourself, see here for Part 1 files: C1-printable-EN (2022)C1-printable-FR (2022)C1-printable-DE (2022)C1-claims-EN (2022), C1-claims-DE (2022). And the Part 2 files: C2-printable-EN (2022)C2-printable-FR (2022)C2-printable-DE (2022)C2-claims-EN (2022), C2-claims-DE (2022). The claims were only available digitally, and have been extracted from candidate's answers (sorry, no French). The EPO normally makes official copies available in the compendium in the week after the EQE.

  • The general impression seems to be that there was still a lot to read in Part 1, but that it was more manageable than 2021. I have not made the exam yet, so I cannot comment on it myself.
  • Just like last year, there ere a lot of issues when handing the answers at the end of each part (see below)
  • If you had any issues with the exam, report them as soon as possible to helpdesk@eqe.org. Formally, complaints must be formally filed no later than midnight on the day of the exam you are complaining about. I have helped update Preston Richard's template for EQE complaints to make the process a little easier, especially after a tiring day. Even if you have miss the formal deadline, submit all complaints that could affect your marking or performance as quickly as possible. You can also give a reason why you were not able to submit immediately after the exam, such as tiredness or needing to prepare for the next exam.

1. Telegram chat groups

  • Join the EQE Telegram groups to discuss issues with other candidates: Main group (324 members), Study group (133 members), ABC&PE-claims (206 members), D&PE-legal (166 members) and Marketplace (72 members). The groups are public, and open to any tutors or candidates. A few rules: treat others with respect, no discussion of cheating, no exchange of large sections of copyrighted materials (use of excerpts for study and discussion allowed). During scheduled exams, no discussion of the exam questions or answers. During mocks, no restrictions.
2. WISEflow, before the exam, after the exam
  • It is now strongly recommended to log-on to WISEflow at least 60 minutes before the start of the first part of each exam. This gives you a chance to see if everything is working. After clicking on the correct exam flow, you enter the flow page. 
  • Early camera check: It is possible to start the FLOWlock/LockDown Browser in the flow page up to 60 minutes before the exam to test your camera and microphone by performing the ID check. 
    • If you do not need to print, you can just stay in the Browser, waiting for the exam to start. 
    • If you need to print using that computer, you must exit the Browser, restart your internet browser, log back in to WISEflow, and enter the flow page again. You will also need to perform the ID check again. 
    • It is also possible to print using a second computer logged into WISEflow, but this second computer must be turned off and out of reach during the exam.
  • Print BEFORE starting the FLOWlock Browser: At least 10 minutes before the start of the exam, any printable documents will appear on the flow page. Click on the refresh icon (clockwise arrow) or press F5 to see them. This year, it seemed as if the documents were available about 20 minutes before the start. 
  • Most copies of candidates C1 answers were timely available Part 1 for printing.
  • Last year, there were some problems last year with missing pages in the pdf's, so check them to see if they look complete and report any problem. It was a pdf conversion issue, and the complete answers were correctly submitted and could be easily be reconverted. This year, at least one person in A had the first letters of each paragraph missing and some words in between were also missing.

3. FLOWlock / LockDown Browser
  • Browser updates: it is now expected that you verify the software at least once in the morning BEFORE each exam. You should be using the latest version of FLOWlock / LockDown Browser
    • To verify: after logging-in to WISEflow, click on the drop down menu next to your name and select "Edit profile" and "Test Browser". This will start the FLOWlock / LockDown Browser, and check that it is up to date correctly installed. However, I learned from a couple of people that contrary to the normal meaning of the word "Verify", the command does not check whether the Browser is up to date. The only way to check appears to be to download the latest version and compare the file name with the earlier one you downloaded. 
    • Several people did report Browser stability problems after updating - everything was fine during their mock exams in February.
  • Browser crashes during A, B, C and D: many people had crashes, even with home computers on home networks who had no problems during the mocks. After successfully starting, the Browser spontaneously vanished, with just the desktop backdrop being visible. This issue was seen by some during the mocks. It is unclear what the cause is.
    • if an internet browser can be opened, you can restart WISEflow.
    • if no options are available, you may need to to reboot your computer, and then restart WISEflow.
  • Prepare a backup system: I heard on Monday about someone who had no problems during the mocks, but could not get into any parts of the D exam yesterday because the Browser would not recognise the laptop internal camera (a personal laptop with no external cameras connected). What a disaster - a year of preparation flushed away by WISEflow. If you have had crashes, or you are worried, prepare a backup system and have it in your room, turned off and out of reach:
    • Borrow a computer to which you can have full administrator privileges. The recommended technical specs are very low. Or ask your IT department if they have an old one that they can reset and give you administrator privileges.  
    • You will have the least chance of technical issues if you use a dedicated desktop with one screen (at least 27 inch), one camera, one microphone, one keyboard, one mouse, one loudspeaker device, one printer, direct wired (USB/HDMI) connections to all peripherals, administrator access, cabled (LAN) access. The chances of problems are even more reduced by connecting to a non-company network.
  • Chat window frozenseveral many people found after a crash (and logging in again) that chat window remained open in the "Calling representative" or "Contacting invigilation" mode. There was no way to stop it, move it, or to contact an invigilator. This meant that it was not possible to request an unscheduled break, for example, or to report any other issues. At least one person had to waste more time calling the EQE helpdesk telephone number (which has very limited capacityto get back in because the chat was frozen. 
    • helpdesk suggested refreshing - the refresh icon is the "clockwise arrow" at the top left between X and (i). F5 should also work (at least in Windows).
    • if it still does not work, continue working on your exam. If you need to contact the helpdesk, call +49 89 2399 5155 (helpdesk number with very limited capacity).
  • Lost lines from answer: after a FLOWlock Browser crash, rebooting and logging-in, one person reported that they were missing the lines from the last several minutes of thier had been lost, and they had to retype them.
  • Can't find Refresh: Refresh will solve a lot of problems. The refresh icon is the "clockwise arrow" at the top left between X and (i). F5 should also work (at least in Windows).
  • Blurry assignment preview: many candidates have reported this problem. The assignment preview window is the only possibility in FLOWlock to allow side-by-side comparison, so the blurriness makes this unusable. The official guidance received from the helpdesk, both during the mocks and during exams, is to not use the preview window, or that it was due to the individual system.
    • a solution reported in the Telegram groups was to adjust the text zoom ratio in WINDOWS/ Display Settings to 125% before starting the FLOWlock Browser. 
    • Note that this WINDOWS setting cannot be set or reset during the exam. 
    • The zoom level of the FLOWlock Browser and all the tabs can be set during the exam using the selection menu which appears when the (i) icon in the top left is clicked.
    • It is also possible to separately change the zoom level of an assignment tab using CTRL+SCROLL MOUSE, or the (-) and (+) buttons in the assignment tab toolbar. Zoom settings can also be set directly by clicking on the arrow next to the percentage in the assignment tab toolbar.
    • It is only possible to separately change the zoom level of the answer tab using CTRL+SCROLL MOUSE.
    • At least one person reported that after setting the zoom to 125%, they spontaneously got the blurred window again. They were advised by the helpdesk to just close the preview window.
  • Many problems handing-in: both at the end of Part 1 and at the end of Part 2. 
    • This was a major problem last year during C, related to the high number of candidates handing in relatively long exam answers. This is an area where WISEflow and the FLOWlock Browser work well - you need to first try refreshing (F5 "clockwise arrow" at the top left). If that does not work, contact the helpdesk who will guide you. During the C exam, the large number of calls made the response slow, but everybody was eventually helped. The main issue is having such a problems at the end of Part 1 - many did not get a full scheduled break,  and some were not able to print out their Part 1 answer for reference during Part 2.
    • There are many options available to the invigilator, including downloading your answer locally using an administrators menu and emailing it. FLOWlock Browser is continuously saving versions local and cloud versions of your answer. But always  check your answer to see if it seems complete.
    • Even if you managed to file your answer and everything seems fine, you should still file a complaint. it is unlikely that there will be problems, but just in case some of your answer got corrupted or appears missing. They can then double check if something looks strange during the marking.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

e-EQE: 17 Mar 2022 - C Exam - good luck!


Final Preparations
Updated 11 Mar 22: added entry photo requirements
Updated 10 Mar 22: clarify that you must print before starting FLOWlock Browser

  • This is a detailed exam schedule for C 2022, indicating scheduled and unscheduled break times. 
  • External Resources at www.epo.org are available online during the exam. For all other materials, you will need to have them on paper. If you are planning to annotate digitally, be prepared to deal with limitations in the software.
  • The B and C Exams are the least adapted to the new digital format. If it is similar to the 2021 exam, there will be quite a lot to read, a lot to answer and not much time to waste.
  • My suggestion for C is to either just work on paper, or combine paper & digital. Only working digitally is not a good idea - you are disadvantaging yourself in time, and you lose the ability to compare and make permanent notes. Digital annotations made in Part 1 are not available in Part 2, and your own answer to Part 1 is only available to print before starting Part 2 (it is not available digitally).
  • To work exclusively on paper, you just need to carefully copy the claims as granted onto paper, which you will have with you for the rest of the exam (and during the scheduled break). Depending on how the exam is divided, there will be new claims to be attacked in Part 2, and possibly new prior art.
  • Be prepared to contact the invigilators by chat widget, and be prepared to deal with FLOWlock Browser crashes. Only in emergencies and if the chat widget is not available, call the epo helpdesk: +49 89 2399 5155. Telephone lines are very limited - the chat widget is strongly recommended. Communication via email will not be dealt with.
  • Last year, candidates received an e-mail with a hyperlink just before the exam. This year, no email will be sent - the flows will made available well before each of your exams, so you will see them after logging into WISEflow.
  • Get everything ready early so you can relax. It is recommended to log-in 60 minutes before the start of the first flow. This will also give enough time to make sure that the room requirements are complied with, and to create your own evidence.
  • Print BEFORE starting the FLOWlock Browser: 10 minutes before the start of the exam, any printable documents will appear on the flow page. Click on the refresh icon (clockwise arrow) or press F5 to see them. 
    • It is also possible to print using a second computer logged into WISEflow, but this second computer must be turned off and out of reach during the exam.

During the exam

  • Have a valid official photo ID (identity card or passport) ready and keep it within easy reach during the whole exam. You MUST verify your identity at the start of EACH FLOW by holding your ID next to your face for the entry photo. See Instructions to Candidates ITC IV, 6.
  • During the exam, you must to stay in front of the camera - everything you want to use must be within arms reach. 
  • During scheduled exam times and unscheduled breaks, don't go online discussing the exam or share confidential exam info, such as personal login details & invigilator passwords. Wait until the scheduled end of the last part of the exam - after that, you can freely discuss. But remember - no-one knows the expected answers, how the marks will be awarded, and which alternatives will be accepted.
Type-in the most complete answer possible within the time given
  • More than one answer is frequently accepted. This is decided after the exam based upon the actual answers provided. 
  • You can still fail if you are on the right track but don't hand in enough to be marked properly. Don't spend too much time analysing and thinking - hand-in as much as answer as possible, even if you are not sure if it is "correct".
  • Concentrate on completing the parts of the answer as soon as possible which are awarded the most marks (the examiners reports include a marking table). 
  • If you are working digitally, it is fine to have a "notes" or "analysis" section in your answer, and to hand-it in. Help your marker by clearly distinguishing between "notes"/"analysis" and your answer to the exam.

Good luck!

e-EQE: 15 Mar 2022 - B Exam - no copy (sorry), short report

Yesterday was the e-EQE B Exam (0930-1300 CET - 210 mins). Unfortunately, I do not have a complete copy of the non-printable parts yet = application description, claims as filed, EPO communication, clients letter with proposed claims. The EPO normally makes official copies available in the compendium in the week after the EQE. 

  • It was shorter in length than last year, so that made it a little more manageable. 
  • There were many complaints about the exam being too mechanical - in fact, it looked like it was from years ago when candidates could choose between Electricity-Mechanics or Chemistry, where specialist knowledge was required to make the exam. 
  • I have not made the exam yet, so I cannot comment on it myself.
  • If you had any issues with the exam, report them as soon as possible to helpdesk@eqe.org. Formally, complaints must be filed no later than midnight on the day of the exam you are complaining about. I have helped update Preston Richard's template for EQE complaints to make the process a little easier, especially after a tiring day. Even if you have miss the formal deadline, submit all complaints that could affect your marking or performance as quickly as possible. You can also give a reason why you were not able to submit immediately after the exam, such as tiredness or needing to prepare for the next exam.

1. Telegram chat groups

  • Join the EQE Telegram groups to discuss issues with other candidates: Main group (306 members), Study group (128 members), ABC&PE-claims (188 members), D&PE-legal (152 members) and Marketplace (69 members). The groups are public, and open to any tutors or candidates. A few rules: treat others with respect, no discussion of cheating, no exchange of large sections of copyrighted materials (use of excerpts for study and discussion allowed). During scheduled exams, no discussion of the exam questions or answers. During mocks, no restrictions.
2. WISEflow, before the exam, after the exam
  • It is now strongly recommended to log-on to WISEflow at least 60 minutes before the start of the first part of each exam. This gives you a chance to see if everything is working. After clicking on the correct exam flow, you enter the flow page. 
  • Early camera check: It is possible to start the FLOWlock/LockDown Browser in the flow page up to 60 minutes before the exam to test your camera and microphone by performing the ID check. 
    • If you do not need to print, you can just stay in the Browser, waiting for the exam to start. 
    • If you need to print using that computer, you must exit the Browser, restart your internet browser, log back in to WISEflow, and enter the flow page again. You will also need to perform the ID check again. 
    • It is also possible to print using a second computer logged into WISEflow, but this second computer must be turned off and out of reach during the exam.
  • Print BEFORE starting the FLOWlock Browser: 10 minutes before the start of the exam, any printable documents will appear on the flow page. Click on the refresh icon (clockwise arrow) or press F5 to see them. 
  • All copies of candidates answers were available 60 mins after the scheduled end of the exam.
  • Last year, there were some problems last year with missing pages in the pdf's, so check them to see if they look complete and report any problem. It was a pdf conversion issue, and the complete answers were correctly submitted and could be easily be reconverted. This year, at least one person had the first letters of each paragraph missing and some words in between were also missing.

3. FLOWlock / LockDown Browser
  • Browser updates: it is now expected that you verify the software at least once in the morning BEFORE each exam. You should be using the latest version of FLOWlock / LockDown Browser
    • To verify: after logging-in to WISEflow, click on the drop down menu next to your name and select "Edit profile" and "Test Browser". This will start the FLOWlock / LockDown Browser, and check that it is up to date. 
    • Several people did report Browser stability problems after updating - everything was fine during their mock exams in February.
  • Browser crashes during A, B and D: many people had crashes, even with home computers on home networks who had no problems during the mocks. After successfully starting, the Browser spontaneously vanished, with just the desktop backdrop being visible. This issue was seen by some during the mocks. It is unclear what the cause is.
    • if an internet browser can be opened, you can restart WISEflow.
    • if no options are available, you may need to to reboot your computer, and then restart WISEflow.
  • Prepare a backup system: I heard on Monday about someone who had no problems during the mocks, but could not get into any parts of the D exam yesterday because the Browser would not recognise the laptop internal camera (a personal laptop with no external cameras connected). What a disaster - a year of preparation flushed away by WISEflow. If you have had crashes, or you are worried, prepare a backup system and have it in your room, turned off and out of reach:
    • Borrow a computer to which you can have full administrator privileges. The recommended technical specs are very low. Or ask your IT department if they have an old one that they can reset and give you administrator privileges.  
    • You will have the least chance of technical issues if you use a dedicated desktop with one screen (at least 27 inch), one camera, one microphone, one keyboard, one mouse, one loudspeaker device, one printer, direct wired (USB/HDMI) connections to all peripherals, administrator access, cabled (LAN) access. The chances of problems are even more reduced by connecting to a non-company network.
  • Chat window frozen: many people found after a crash (and logging in again) that chat window remained open in the "Calling representative" or "Contacting invigilation" mode. There was no way to stop it, move it, or to contact an invigilator. This meant that it was not possible to request an unscheduled break, for example, or to report any other issues. At least one person had to waste more time calling the EQE helpdesk telephone number (which has very limited capacityto get back in because the chat was frozen. 
    • helpdesk suggested refreshing - the refresh icon is the "clockwise arrow" at the top left between X and (i). F5 should also work (at least in Windows).
    • if it still does not work, continue working on your exam. If you need to contact the helpdesk, call +49 89 2399 5155 (helpdesk number with very limited capacity).
  • Lost lines from answer: after a FLOWlock Browser crash, rebooting and logging-in, one person reported that they were missing the lines from the last several minutes of thier had been lost, and they had to retype them.
  • Can't find Refresh: Refresh will solve a lot of problems. The refresh icon is the "clockwise arrow" at the top left between X and (i). F5 should also work (at least in Windows).
  • Blurry assignment preview: many candidates have reported this problem. The assignment preview window is the only possibility in FLOWlock to allow side-by-side comparison, so the blurriness makes this unusable. The official guidance received from the helpdesk, both during the mocks and during exams, is to not use the preview window, or that it was due to the individual system.
    • a solution reported in the Telegram groups was to adjust the text zoom ratio in WINDOWS/ Display Settings to 125% before starting the FLOWlock Browser. 
    • Note that this WINDOWS setting cannot be set or reset during the exam. 
    • The zoom level of the FLOWlock Browser and all the tabs can be set during the exam using the selection menu which appears when the (i) icon in the top left is clicked. For example, if this Browser zoom is set to 75%, some people indicated that the blurry assignment preview did not return, and everything was sized correctly.
    • It is also possible to separately change the zoom level of an assignment tab using CTRL+SCROLL MOUSE, or the (-) and (+) buttons in the assignment tab toolbar. Zoom settings can also be set directly by clicking on the arrow next to the percentage in the assignment tab toolbar.
    • It is only possible to separately change the zoom level of the answer tab using CTRL+SCROLL MOUSE.