Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Suggested list of books & things to take to the Main & Pre-Exam - EQE 2018

- Check the exam times and plan to arrive early
- Since EQE2017, an additional 30 minutes has been given for papers A, B, C and D (REE OJ 2017 SE2 - page 43) to help candidates who do not have English, French or German as their mother language. The papers are designed to be made in the official REE duration (e.g. 5 hours for C and D) but an extra 30 minutes is given to make it at the exam (e.g. 5.5 hours for C and D).
- Read through the rules regarding the conduct of the exam (REE OJ 2017 SE2 - page 27-29). See the warning here about possible problems.
- See here 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 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 2017, look at the Tutors' Report to help with interpreting the EQE Compendium (epi information 4/17 - pages 20-29)
- For the A & B papers, don't forget to do the Mock A (Examiners' Report) and Mock B (Examiners' Report) for additional practice. There is also a video explaining the philosophy behind the combined technology papers which were given for the first time at EQE 2017.
- If necessary, look here for 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 (gel-pens are preferred for quick writing, but they can run out quickly). Make sure the pens are not too thin or bring ones with different diameters - as your hand gets tired, it gets more difficult to hold a thin pen.
- no electronic devices: only a wrist watch with an analogue display (and without any additional options) is allowed on your desk during the exam.
- 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.
Updated on 25 Jan 18: new regulations: the scissors should be rounded at the ends, with a blade of 6cm or less (measured from the fulcrum).

- 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 during each paper
- Paracetemol [acetaminophen]: to relieve pains or swollen fingers after writing for several hours
- a good luck charm :-)

Legal references: versions valid on 31 October 2017 (new for EQE 2018 - see notice here)
- your favourite EPC reference book, with tabs and own notes
+ updated where necessary for the EPC & PCT legal changes in 2016 & 2017
- National law relating to the EPC - Oct 2017 version (for printing on A4 paper), or
my A5 version (downloadable for printing yourself or can be ordered as book)
- Fees (EPC & PCT Fees relevant for EPO on 31 Oct 2017 - for example, here
- ADA = arrangements for deposit accounts - OJ EPO 2017-SE5. Questions on DI usually require you to figure out whether a right is lost (and the remedy) if payment from a debit account is attempted when there are too little funds. Other important things are fees that may be paid using automatic debiting and the last moment that each fee is paid automatically.
- Guidelines for Examination in the EPO: the Nov 2017 was only in force after 31 Oct 17, so the latest version can be ignored. Take a copy of the Nov 16 version - this pdf includes a keyword index (page 815) and an overview of the section changes made in 2016 (page 881).
- 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 four years.
(Note that the D committee does not ask questions on pending referrals to the Enlarged Board or expect answers based on very recent decisions)
- EPC Request for Grant form and notes - you should understand the legal consequences of each box or section
- Check that that your materials are up-to-date, and take any important notices from the Official Journal in 201720162015 that are not covered in sufficient detail in your reference book.
- your favourite PCT reference book, with tabs and own notes
- my Printable PCT References for EQE, comprising parts of the Applicants Guide (approx 850 pages). It includes the Introduction to International Phase, Introduction to National Phase, PCT Request form, the EPO entry Form 1200, notes and PCT fees valid on 31 Oct 2017.
- Important notices from the PCT Newsletter in 2017, 20162015
- Guide for Applicants - Euro-PCT Guide - Jan 2017
- 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 legal reference books will have a summary of the important points, so you will probably not need it.
- Examination at the EPO as PCT Authority: the Nov 2017 was only in force after 31 Oct 17, so the latest version can be ignored. This Nov 2016 version has a lot of overlap with the EPC Guidelines and the Euro-PCT Guide - only take it if 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. onw quick question, whay version of ADA should be brought to the exam ? the one in the SP 3 OJ 2015 or the one in the SE 5 OJ 2017; the latter was published before the cut off for EQE 2018 but then in art.2 it is clear that the entry into force is later.
    With the exception of the points referred
    to in the paragraph below, the revised
    texts enter into force on 1 December
    2017 and supersede those dated 1 April
    2015 (supplementary publication 3 –
    Official Journal EPO 2015).

  2. My advice would be to go through the one from SE5 OJ 2017 as it is closer to the version you need. If you answer a question with a more up to date reference, they will still give you the points (you will not get any extra points).
    A likely question, for example, may be related to the automatic debiting for PCT filing fees which was changed on 1 Apr 15.

    1. Thanks a lot Peter I will follow your advise.

    2. Does your advice extend also to the Pre-exam as well?

    3. Yes - the syllabus and exam regulations are the same for the Pre-Exam. The major difference is that you have to fill in the multiple choice answer sheet with a medium soft HB pencil.

  3. Hi Pete, thanks so much for all of your helpful suggestions and assorted literature!

    One question: which version of Visser would you recommend to take: the one from 2016 or 2017? Both books are updated "until November 15th" of the respective year, and are based, among other things, on the guidelines of the respective year... In light of the new cutoff date of November, I am not sure whether the new Visser could be misleading =(.

  4. Hi Nina, due to the cut-off, they only expect answers based on the Guidelines from November 2016 and anything relevant published in OJ up to 31 Oct 2017. If you answer a question based on the latest Guidelines (Nov 2017), the chance that this gives a different answer is very small. And if it does, they will usually give you points anyway. So the best version to use is the matched set with either Guidelines, because when using Visser you may have to look up a reference in the Guidelines quickly.

  5. Thank you so much for the clarification! And thanks again for all of your public service work to help EQE candidates, it is much much appreciated!

  6. Your welcome! - good luck in two weeks time