Thursday, March 1, 2018

EQE 2018 Paper C

Today I did paper C. If you want to look, here are official copies of the paper.

It felt very long, and it turns out it was 7 pages longer than 2017.

Most of the people I talked to had issues getting through everything, and the inventive step seemed very complicated to sort out. Almost every document had comments related to other documents, and some negative statements which were possibly meant to be teachings away.

There were some relatively straightforward novelty attacks (which you could do when you found them), but for the inventive step attacks you would usually read through everything first to see what the strongest was. By that time, there was not much time left to write out the attacks, and it was not so easy to pick the closest prior art. The comments I heard from others was that it was "overwhelming" and "endless reading".

In a few weeks you will get a copy of your answers. If you cut up the exam paper (with your childsafe scissors ,-),  and glued or taped it into your answer, check carefully to see if any piece is missing. Or whether there are pages missing. It can happen that pages get stuck together, and then are missed during scanning. Or pieces fall off. If you notice anything, notify the EQE secretariat.

14 comments:

  1. Hi Pete,

    Thanks for your comment. Will you also post what you think was the right answer for the claims? I missed the novelty attacks against claim 1 (realized when I walked out…) instead I did A2 + A4 inventive step, for claim 2 A4 + A2 and A4 + A5, claim 3 A4 + A2, claim 4 inv step A4 + A2 , claim 5 partial problem A4 + A2 + A3, Art 123(2) for the part directed at teat and udder, claim 6 novelty over A6.

    I felt quite good about the exam untill I realised I missed the "suitability"for claim 1 and therefore probably also messed up claims 2 and 3...afraid I will be back in the exam hall next year

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    1. I had novelty claim 1 with A2, IS claim 2 A2+A3, IS claim 3 A2 (mere automation), novelty claim 4 A5, no time to attack on claim 5(a), extension claim 5(b), novelty claim 6 A6. I ran out of time trying IS claim 2 A2+A4 - i realised they were incompatible.

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    2. Could you please explain why you thought A2 and A4 to be incompatible for attacking claim 2?

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    3. I had difficulties separating out the different embodiments in A4. It does have a spray (for disinfectant), but it also says that that is insufficient and cleaning inside the milking robot is also required [008]. It also includes an ultrasonic cleaner. May be I am being too friendly to the proprietor (or I missed something somewhere), but A4 was also missing the brush.

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    4. For claim 2, I took A4 as CPA - reason being it was the only document that had an electronic indication means that could supply info about the positions of both the device and animal. The only feature missing was rotatable brushes, which could easily be used to replace the Ultrasonic cleaner of A4, with brushes of A2 especially as A2 disclosed that the brushes effectively removed dirt and uniformly spread soaking solution (taught as desirable in A1). The fact A4 teaches there is still a need to clean after disinfecting lends to a inducement to modify to achieve this and the fact that in A4 multiple reservoirs can be accommodated for different solutions there would be no barrier to including the brushes with an additional reservoir for cleaning solution.

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  2. Hi. I went novelty claim 1 with A2, IS claim 2 A4+A2, IS claim 3 A2+A4, novelty claim 4 A5 (as ridiculous as that was!), no time for claim 5a but was going A3 +a4 + a5, added matter 5b, novelty claim 6 a6. Felt too much information took too long to arrive at attacks leading to insufficient time to properly prepare and write answer that will cover the relevant points

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  3. I liked the attack on claim 4 - I have had this in real life with one of first applications after qualifying. I claimed a CII so broadly, that the examiner said it was known for a person to go to a library, look in the index, and access a book etc - it was easy to fix by adding computer-implemented and some hardware.

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  4. I had no time left to do any more on inventive step, which was a pity. I suspect there was a partial problems attack because of the way the features were disclosed in the different embodiments, but then you need the explanation that certain features do not interact (aggregation of features). And I did not have time to check the documents again.

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    1. What a relief to read that even you did not have enough time to attack claim 5a... How does the fact that you are a bench marker work out on the distribution of marks? Are you allowed to fail? In my naive point of view, I had already failed by just not having written the IS attack on claim 5a and having the IS attack wrong on claim 2... In general, IS attacks are worth +/- 25 marks (there were three of them), and then 25 marks for the 3 novelty attacks and the added S-M issue.

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    2. The benchmarker papers are not used directly to determine or to calibrate the marking - they need a number of papers to use in the committees to discuss the level and quality of argumentation which is needed to get points in a particular area or a particular question. For confidentiality reasons, they cannot use actual papers. They are looking for someone who can just pass (about 50 points) as such a paper will have a mix of correct parts and incorrect parts for the discussion.

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  5. Julien
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    Dear Pete,

    Here my reposne to this c paper -

    Cl6 : Novelty versus A6 with priority issue based on G2/98 or G1/15 considereing that priority is only valid for European Blue and has lapsed + the fcat that the patentee has no support to disclaim European Blue (I did not realize it during the exam);

    Cl1: Novelty based on A2 (A2 is suitable for the use outside of the area where the milking robot is : the device of A2 can be used anywhere).

    Cl 2 and Cl3: A4 + A2. A4 is the CPA because it is the sole document disclosing a device for an application out of the inside of the milking robot. Although A2 says that the protable milking device it describes can be use anywhere; this prior art discloses that it is not preferable to use it inside a milking robot. A3 has also as main prupose to apply the fluid in the milking robot: although A2 is suitable for being use anywhere; then outside of amilking robot - A2 provide a strong counter-indication for using it inside a milking robot.

    Cl 4: Novel over A5. A5 does not disclose the at least 2 l. of fluid/liquid per animal; although I agree that the cow is lying in the river so that the teats are in contcat with the water ; but the skilled person does not know which quantity is specifically in contact.

    I therefore used an IS approach with A4 as closest prior art in combination with A2 describing at least 3l.

    Cl5: IS approach with A4 (because of the requirement of soaking the teats outside of the milking robot) as CPA and two partial problems :

    PP1: A4 does not diclose the heated nozzles

    Solution: A4 + A3: A3 can eventually be active out of the milking robot (compatible)

    PP2: A4 does not disclose the marking before milking

    Solution: A4 + A5

    PP1 and PP2 are independent from the objective technical problem in cl4.

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    1. JUlien
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      Cl5 has a split : teats alone and > teats; > teats is not patentable under A100c EPC.

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    2. Hello Pete,
      i made claim 3novelty attack using A2 because A2 discloses "control"feature (operator), is it completely nonsense?

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    3. add in: where as claim 4 was not fully disclosed in A4 in my opinion...

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