Sunday, October 6, 2019

Stand-alone version of EPC.App available through Amazon

The IP.appify platform allows you to fine tune and build your own legal reference for both EPC and PCT, that will never be outdated.
As an alternative to working on-line, the EPC part is also available as a stand-alone book with author's comments (and cross-references) on Amazon (.de or .com or .co.uk) in English or German.
This already includes enough comments and references to answer most of the questions at the EQE if you have studied, and are familiar enough with the law to be able to find relevant articles and rules. See my review of last year's edition, which I used to answer the EQE 2019 D paper.

This does not include PCT - this will eventually also be available as a stand-alone book with just the author's comments. We have just finished the first edition for on-line use, and we are currently fine-tuning the page content and the length for printing. I am the main author for the PCT part.

1st Edition of PCT.App now available

After a lot of effort, both making content as well as adapting the platform (thanks to Till Andlauer, Stefan Ahlers, Thomas Eißfeller), we have finished the first edition available of the PCT. App. Finally, a tool is available that can deal with a convoluted law like PCT.
This is the book that I wish had been available when I was first studying PCT. The main organisation of the law is based on topics, and not on articles and rules, although I have kept the order of articles as much as possible. Where necessary, Administrative Instructions have also been included. Clickable cross-references are included demonstrating how the law is arranged, as well as external links to simplify studying.
It includes my comments as author, with explanations of how things work, but coupled to the law to illustrate the legal basis for what is going on. It also includes legal analysis and interpretation of key articles and rules for legal practitioners. Comments are also included about the WIPO organisation and amendment of the Treaty.
The PCT.App platform is a perfect platform for fine tuning your own legal reference - you can jump around the law using links, go to external sections of the different guidelines to learn, hide author comments that you do not need, add both in-line and adjacent comments, highlight and underline important parts. The IP.appify platform allows you to generate pdf's so that you can print your reference.
It will eventually also be available with just author's comments as a stand-alone book, but we need to tune the page content and length first. The EPC.App stand-alone book with author's comments on EPC is already available on Amazon (.de or .com or .co.uk) in English or German.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

EQELIBRIUM camps - learning by doing EQE papers

A vital part of any exam preparation is to practice exams. At the EQE, you will need to make a thousand micro-decisions on each paper about where to start, what you need to do, in which order to do it, what to write, what not to write, things not to be forgotten and when to stop. You need to deal with all the details as you concentrate on the big picture. And you need to take into account your own strengths and weaknesses.
The EQELIBRIUM mock camps, founded by Łukasz Bogdan, provide a good environment for learning this - by solving papers in a group, you benefit from the ideas and insights of others. Just as important is the social aspect - you spend a few days in the Polish mountains with other candidates who have similar issues and struggles. In particular, non-native speakers and re-sitters benefit a lot from considering different points of view.
I have heard that the first camps were like an "EQE Airbnb", where candidates stayed at someone's house, spending the whole day doing papers and cooking meals together :-).
I am very happy and proud to take part in this initiative to build a knowledge-sharing community. The scheduled camps (at a hotel close to Wroclaw) for both Pre-Exam and Main Exam papers are:

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Review: using EPC.App for Paper D - EQE 2019

I was immediately enthusiastic about EPC.App as it supports different uses by different types of candidate. To answer legal questions efficiently, you need to be able to find details (like procedural acts, time limits & references) quickly and accurately. Traditionally, either you make your own reference book or you learn to use (& annotate) a book written by someone else.
EPC.App supports both approaches and everything in-between: a digital, cross-referenced version of the EPC is provided with extensive standard notes, mark-up and comments from the editors. The standard notes were used by them to pass their EQE's, and also include links to Articles & Rules, OJEPO's, case law & guidelines.
The main structure is based on the Articles, followed by the relevant Rules. As you study on-line, hyperlinks allow you to open the resources, to make summaries and to add your own annotations. Standard notes can be hidden, so you can create a reference only covering the issues that you have difficulty with. If you need more explanation, you can make it and add it yourself. And you can put annotations next to the Article and/or Rule that you think is most logical. Just before the exam, you export it as a pdf and print it. As it becomes your reference, you can find the details a lot quicker at the exam.
To try out the book, I used only the standard EPC author's notes for the benchmarking of Paper D in 2019. See below for more details of the version I used, what I quickly found and what I did not find. PCT was not included in 2019 editions, but I am working with the editors to make PCT.App, which will be available for EQE 2020.
** Update 1 Oct 2019: 1st edition of PCT.App now available on-line, updated stand-alone EPC.App book available

Thursday, February 28, 2019

EQE 2019 - Paper C

I sat the paper under exam conditions in Munich as a bench marker to give the examination committees some materials for their marking discussion. If you want to try the paper yourself, here are scanned copies in English, French & German.

This paper was much more manageable than last year - it was possible to do some attacks during the reading, and once you had read the documents, it was clear where a lot of the pieces should approximately go. It was a lot of work to finish -  I had to cut my inventive step attacks and explanation down to the key points only. I heard from a couple of people that it was impossible to finish, but they had the feeling that they had done enough to pass (assuming they were on the right track).

The last day of the EQE is hard going, with a tired brain and tired hands from writing. I got up a little late, so I didn't have time to iron my shirt. I got to the exam on time, annoyed that I would have to sit there the whole day in my wrinkled shirt. And then I opened the exam to read all about irons and steam irons 😄. I wonder if it is based on a Philips Electronics case - there was an address in The Netherlands, and Eindhoven was mentioned where I am based.

See below for more comments and possibly some spoilers

EQE 2019 - Paper B

I sat the paper under exam conditions in Munich as a bench marker to give the examination committees some materials for their marking discussion. If you want to try the paper yourself, here are scanned copies in English, French & German.

Again a mix of mechanical, physical and chemical aspects. Very simple technology - solar cookers. In structure, this felt to me like a chemical paper - I managed to sort the pieces out, but I was not sure exactly what direction to take. Normally, in an EQE paper, most of the issues are clear enough decide using an 80/20 weighting, but here I had several 50:50 issues. Also with the support for the main amendment I took. I also struggled with inventive step. The reactions from others was a little mixed - they were unsure about their answer.

I may not be the best person to judge - I always have problems with paper B😲. I only passed it on my 2nd attempt at the EQE, and for a similar paper as a Dutch patent attorney, I had to take it 3 times.

See below for more comments and possibly some spoilers

EQE 2019 - Paper A

I sat the paper under exam conditions in Munich as a bench marker to give the examination committees some materials for their marking discussion. If you want to try the paper yourself, here are scanned copies in English, French & German.

The invention, a cell culture container (such as a multi-well plate) is something you could get in real-life to protect: the mechanical aspects need to be claimed, taking into account the chemical and biological aspects. This is a positive aspect of the current combined technologies format (this is the third year) - they prepares candidates who are specialised but have a broad understanding of the main issues when patenting other technical areas.
This is a nice mechanical paper for chemists to practice. The independent device claim emerges very quickly, but there are a lot of refinements for each feature to consider claiming. The mechanical paper issue of getting more than one embodiment under a single claim is included, but the flow of the information is steady and manageable. Very consistent wording used. The mechanical terminology (and understanding) is not difficult. There is a lot of work to do, but the paper does a good job of guiding you to your answer. Other people I talked to had similar comments, and the feeling was generally good.

See below for more details and possibly some spoilers.