Monday, January 9, 2017

Suggested list of books & things to take to the Main & Pre-Exam - EQE 2017

- Check the times: the addition of 30 minutes to each Main Exam paper has moved things around (the A-paper starts 30 minutes earlier!)
- Read through the rules regarding the conduct of the exam (page 38-42). See the warning here about possible problems.
- See what candidates from last year said about the location where you are taking the exam
- Be well rested in the days before the exam - many D candidates sleep badly on the Monday night
- Take a suitcase with wheels, and limit the books to ones you have used in the last 6 months of your preparation
- After doing the papers of 2016, look at the Tutors' Report to help with interpreting the EQE Compendium - source: epi information pages 14-23
- If necessary, look at some tips for reducing anxiety at the exam
- Be prepared to do the exams with a relatively small (possible as small as 60cm x 90cm) space. Normally, you can place books you don't need under the table.
- Look through the EQE Study Guide for other tips

- Photo identification (Passport or drivers license)
- several black or blue pens (we hear that gel-pens are preferred, but they can run out quickly)
- no electronic devices: only a wrist watch with an analogue display (and without any additional options) is allowed on your desk during the exam. See the warning here about possible problems.
- make arrangements to leave your phone & laptops at home or in your hotel or in a train station locker. Or take an A4 envelope with you. See the warning here about possible problems.
correction roller
highlighters for use when reading the exam paper (don't use blue highlighters on anything that will be handed in as it will not copy well)
- Pre-Exam only: 1-2 black medium soft HB pencils + suitable eraser + pencil sharpener
- for A/B papers, if you want to cut and paste parts of the exam paper into your answer: scissors and a glue stick or silent permanent glue roller
bulldog clips to hold keep parts of the exam or your answer together (stapler can be noisy)

- Food, snacks, drinks: there is no official break in the D and C papers
- Paracetemol [acetaminophen]: to relieve pains or swollen fingers after writing for several hours
- a good luck charm :-)

Legal: versions valid on 31 December 2016
- your favourite EPC reference book, with tabs and own notes
+ updated where necessary for the EPC & PCT legal changes in 2015 & 2016
- National law relating to the EPC - Sept 2015
+ Table IV updated with the information regarding the London Agreement - status and key points
- ADA = arrangements for deposit accounts - Supplement 3 - OJ EPO 2015
- Guidelines for Examination in the EPO: either Nov 2016 version or Nov 2015 version updated using the Nov 2016 track changes version
- Guidelines keyword index is available here for Nov 2016 version
- Headnotes to relevant G decisions (if not in your EPC reference book) - there is a Jan 2012 version here - you then need to update it with the G decisions of last three years.
(Note that the D committee does not ask questions on pending referrals to the Enlarged Board)
- EPC RFG form and notes
- Important notices from the Official Journal in 2014 - 2016

- your favourite PCT reference book, with tabs and own notes

- my Printable Applicants Guide: Dec 2016 version (approx 830 pages) which can be downloaded from here.
(It includes the Introduction to International PhaseIntroduction to National PhasePCT Request form, the EPO entry Form 1200 and notes)
- Important notices from the PCT Newsletter in 2014 - 2016
- Guide for Applicants - Euro-PCT (EPG) - Jan 2016

- Paris Convention (Articles 1 - 5quater and Article 11) [usually in EPC reference book]

- Some basic information on the US and JP patent systems, such as additional/alternative possibilities (don't need to know details):
US: 12m grace period, "opposition" after grant, claiming priority of a continuation-in-part
JP: 6m grace period, opposition after grant

Other books (you decide based upon your experience answering exam questions during your preparation. If you haven't needed them yet, you probably will not need them in March)
- English/German/French <=> own language dictionary
- EPC Case Law Book - July 2016 (but all the case law you need to answer the questions is found in the EPO Guidelines as "Established Case Law")
- Ancillary Regulations - OJ 2016-Supplement 4 (unfortunately, this collection does not include all the OJEPO's you may need, and has several which will not be tested. Good legel reference books wil have a summary of the important points, so you will probably not need it.
- EPO Examination Guidelines for PCT - Nov 2016 (a lot of overlap with the EPC Guidelines and the Euro-PCT Guide - only take it if is is quicker than looking in the other books)

Do not take:
Your own calendars with EPO holidays
- Legal reference books that you have never used before (you need to have practiced finding things in them)
- anything to do with the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court - it is not yet in force
- Only hand-in materials written at the exam on Main Exam EQE paper, or the Pre-Exam answer sheet (so no pre-prepared materials)

Good luck!


  1. Thank you for the important guidance! I have a particular question, for the relevant legal version. R51(2) EPC has been amended and this version is in force as of 01.01.2017. As far as I understand this is a very important Rule which clarifies some recent contradictory case law (T 1402/13). My question is: Can an answer be regarded wrong if it includes legal changes beyond 31.12.2016?

    1. In general, they will be lenient if the law you used is too up to date, but you will certainly not score any more. You may also get quite a bit less if the situation has become very different.
      In this particular case, the law has simply been changed to more clearly reflect the intent and general practice with regards to when the the application becomes deemed withdrawn.

    2. Thank you for this! I passed the pre-exam and now onto the main exam in 2018.

      What would you recommend the best method for annotating EPC with case law? I have the Case Law book but not really sure where to start. How do I get an idea for what is well established case law? There are so many cases in the book...!

      Thanks in advance

    3. Congratulations on passing the first hurdle.
      I would not work with the Case Law book as a primary reference - the D paper only tests established practice (fron the Guidelines), the case law cited in the Guidelines and G decisions which have been published in the Official Journal at least 1 year before your exam.

    4. A useful reference is this new book by Cees Mulder:
      "A Self-Study Guide for the Pre-Examnation of the EQE". The syllabus for the Pre-Exam and the Main Exam is actually the same. For the EPC subjects, he refers to the appropriate sections of the Guidelines, and the only additional case law mentioned are G decisions.