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

I used up the entire 5 1/2 hours and did not manage to finis. I did attack all the claims, all though the last two were just really notes.

I had some difficulty attacking the second alternative in claim 1, as in the prior art it was cited combined with other materials. I struggled to solve the incompatibility.

Lots of inventive step attacks


19 comments:

  1. Dear Pete,
    Thank you for your comment (and your website!). Would you give us your attacks ?
    Danke

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    1. Thanks for commenting. As my paper will be used by the Committee's for marking, I am not going to post a large portion of my answer, but we can discuss particular problems & issues. Were there claim or other things you had problems with?

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    2. Dear Pete, i actually had the same issue than the one commented below about the potential combination of layers claim 1 & claim 2 ie. KeraSi + KeraMa + Yur56 which is not disclosed then in the description.
      The french version is the same as the german one "comme couche KeraMa"= as Kera type layer. Not "the" layer from claim 1.
      Is that extension of subject matter ?

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    3. The application as filed also includes the claims as filed. Claim 2 via the Kerasi alternative in claim 1) was disclosed in the original claim set, so there is no Art. 123(2) extension.

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  2. Dear Pete, thanks for your comments! I thought it was a more doable C, when compared to last year, first because the subject was again something we all are familiar with and second because most of the features/effects were more straightforward to spot. I had some doubts about the first set of claims, so went for 4, 5, 6, 7 first. Then back to 2, 3... no time for 1 where I covered only the Art 123. Laura

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    1. I struggled with my attacks on the second alternative - there seemed to be some incompatibility that made me unsure.

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  3. Dear Pete,
    I also had a problem to finish. But this depends on the fact, that I wrote in German. Imho, the German claim 2 is different from the English claim 2.

    The English claim 2 claims a coating comprising a KeraMa layer as _the_ Kera type layer.

    The German claim 2 claims a coating comprising a KeraMa layer as __ Kera type layer.

    This means, in the German version of claim 2, there were two layers possible, because the coating comprises a (which is not specified) KeraMa layer as (any) Kera type layer. This does not exclude the KeraSi layer. This doubles the number of attacks on claim 2 and 3. How can one handle this fatal translation mistake?
    Best regards

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  4. Sorry, I do not follow your reasoning completely. Even in the EN claim it does not exclude the combination - any additional layers, whatever they, are fall under the scope of the claim.
    Anyway, this is the reason why you indicate the language that you read the paper in when you hand in your answer. Translation ambiguities can happen, in spite of the checking that goes into it - they will then have a different marking scheme for the different languages.

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    1. They also look at the number of candidates that followed a different interpretation. If it is clear that many did the same, they can adapt the marking.

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    2. German participantMarch 7, 2019 at 9:32 AM

      Dear Pete,
      I am glad to read this. So you think, that both alternatives of claim 1 were to attack in claim 2 and 3?

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    3. I have not checked the reasoning - it does make it a lot more complicated via the second alternative (KeraSi) as you then need to end up with a double layer on alumunium for a steam iron. Did you have a strong attack?

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    4. German participantMarch 8, 2019 at 10:17 AM

      I hope so.

      Claim 2 (alternative KeraSi): A2 + A4 first test + A4 second test.

      Claim 3 (alternative KeraSi): A2 + A4 first test + A4 second test + General knowledge of A3. (Here I ran out of time)

      Indeed, it is complicated, the claims 2 and 3 can be attacked completely. As being no man skilled in the art, I did not ask how the layers can be combined, especially I did not want to use A100b) implicitely. Although, that KeraMa+KeraSi can be combined in even one layer is shown in claim 1, wherein this combination is to be attacked by A123(2).

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    5. The general rule on C is to attack the claims if you think you have an argument (just like in real life). So, if you have something, it may be worth marks.

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  5. Dear Pete, Generally, I think it was a doable paper. However, I had some trouble deciding on the closest prior art for claims 4-5. My attacks included the combination of A2 and A6 (plus A5 for claim 5, partial problems). I decided to go for A2 as CPA, but now I think it should have been the other way around. How many points are lost this way (if you choose the wrong CPA, but have the right combination of docs)?

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    1. In general, they will look at the arguments you have given. They also take into account the number of candidates who also used the "wrong" CPA, and then they decide. Sometimes they will accept both, or subtract a few points. You should also not be penalised more than once for a mistake, so the damage should be limited.

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  6. Hi Pete, it was really interesting to read your perspective on all 4 exams (and also nice seeing you in Munich!). I was wondering if you know by any chance when the scanned copies of our exams will be posted on the EQE portal.

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  7. Hi Nina, it was great to meet you again - hopefully, you did enough to pass! Last year, I think it was about half way through April. Maybe someone knows?

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  8. Thanks Pete! I think I may have to do a repeat run of the B - I'm not the best at it unfortunately =). So in case anyone else is wondering - the scans are online now!

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  9. how did you do?

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