Saturday, February 9, 2019

Suggested books & things to take to Main & Pre-Exam - EQE 2019

Note: updated 11 Feb 2019 2110 with new (complete)overviews of EPC & PCT changes

- Check the exam times and plan to arrive early
- Since EQE 2017, an additional 30 minutes has been given for papers A, B, C and D (REE OJ 2019 SE2 - page 41) 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 36-40). 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
- If you need a little help on DII, this presentation provides a basic methodology and some explanation of what they are looking for
- For the D paper, the marks available for DII (used to be 60 marks) may be reduced from EQE 2020 onwards (epi information 4/18 - pages 25). For EQE 2019, it will be unchanged (60 marks), but they are becoming more critical when awarding full marks for the legal citation (legal basis) in DI.
- After doing the papers of 2018, look at the Tutors' Report to help with interpreting the EQE Compendium (epi information 4/18 - pages 26-33)
- 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 scan/copy well)

- Pre-Exam only: 1-2 black medium soft HB pencils + suitable eraser + pencil sharpener

- Main Exam: the papers you hand-in as part of your answer may only include official EQE answer paper (A4 lined - provided at Exam - as much as you need) and pages from the Exam Paper itself (for example, the claims set for B with hand-written amendments). Only write on the front of each sheets. Only hand-in materials written at the exam - so, no pre-prepared materials such as tables and matrices. A mock-up of the official EQE paper is available here.
- It is allowed to cut-out pieces of the Exam Paper and paste them onto official EQE answer paper. This is usually used for A/B papers - you need scissors and a glue stick or permanent glue roller (not too noisy). The scissors must be rounded at the ends, with a blade of 6cm or less (measured from the fulcrum).
- Make sure the pieces are secure, and there is no excess glue. Check when you get the scanned copy of your answers (within a couple of weeks of the exam) that nothing has fallen off, and that no pages were stuck together.

- Bulldog clips or large paper clips to hold keep parts of the exam or your answer together (stapler can be noisy, but at the start of the paper a lot of people do it anyway)
- 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 2018
- your favourite EPC reference book, with tabs and own notes
- Paris Convention (Articles 1 - 5quater and Article 11) [usually in EPC reference book]
- 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 five 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)
- 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

- Check that that your materials are up-to-date, and take any important notices from the EPO Official Journal and the PCT Newsletter in 2018, 2017, 2016  not covered in sufficient detail in your reference book.
- See here for an overview of recent EPC changes and an overview of recent PCT changes, as well as my comments about whether a question is likely or not.

- National law relating to the EPC - Oct 2018 version (for printing on A4 paper), or my A5 version (downloadable for printing yourself or can be ordered as A5 book)

- Fees (EPC & PCT Fees relevant for EPO on 31 Oct 2018: OJ 2018, SE2
- An overview of all the legal texts related to payment valid on 31 Oct 2018: OJ 2018, A32
- 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 2018 version was only in force after 31 Oct 18, so the latest version can be ignored. Take a copy of the Nov 17 version - the hyperlinked pdf includes a keyword index and an overview of the section changes made in 2017. I also make a version with an improved index and page numbers which can be ordered as an A5 book.
- Note that you can also use the Nov 2018 version - because the updating at the EPO takes several months, the changes made were actually based on the legal situation in the summer of 2018.

- EPC Request for Grant form and notes - you should understand the legal consequences of each box or section

- your favourite PCT reference book, with tabs and own notes
- my PCT References for EQE, comprising parts of the Applicants Guide (approx 900 pages). It includes the Introduction to International Phase, Introduction to National Phase, PCT Request form, the EPO entry Form 1200, notes, PPH overview, PCT-Direct procedure, and PCT fees valid on 31 Oct 2018. Downloadable for printing yourself or can be ordered as 2x A5 books).
- Guide for Applicants - Euro-PCT Guide - Jan 2018

- EPO PCT Guidelines - 1 Nov 2017. This was added 2 years ago to the list of official texts, but it does repeat a lot that is in the Euro-PCT Guide, the standard EPO Guidelines and the PCT Applicant's Guide. Topics that are covered in detail in this book include:
-- PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway) - E-III, 1 - 3 (See here for a copy of the chapter & a relevant OJ EPO)
-- PCT-Direct - A-IV, 1 and B-IV, 1.2 (See here for a copy of the chapters & a relevant OJ EPO)
- Note that you can also use the Nov 2018 version - because the updating at the EPO takes several months, the changes made were actually based on the legal situation in the summer of 2018. I am finishing a version with an improved indexes and page numbers which can be ordered as an A5 book - this will be available in March 2019.

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, SE4 (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.

Do not take:
- Your own calendars with EPO holidays. The actual calendars they used for the Pre-Exam and Paper D are made available by the Examination Committee a few months before the exam.
- 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

Good luck!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mr. Pollard,
    Thank you very much for this informative blog, it really helps me to gain an overview on how to learn and prepare for the Pre-EQE and EQE!