Thursday, December 9, 2010

Enrolment for EQE 2012, including pre-exam

There is an announcement for EQE 2012

The very first pre-exam will be held on Monday 5 Mar 2012.
The last day to enrol will be 27 June 2011

The old-style EQE will be held for the last time on 6 - 8 Mar 2012
The last day to enrol for first-time sitters is 16 May 2011
and for resitters it is 12 Sept 2011

Be aware that these enrolment dates are final, and cannot be extended. If you miss them, you have to wait an extra year.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Index for the Guidelines - Part A now available !!

A very welcome additiion to the reference materials is an index for the Guidelines, now provided on the EQE Forum:

It is currently only part A, but you can subscribe to receive the rest at the beginning of the year

Ancillary Regulations - now available electronically and on paper

The 2010 version of the Ancillary Regulations is now available here

This book replaces the Special Edition 3 from 2007 and the old EPC1973Ancillary Regulations book.

The only thing that you need from the old EPC1973 book are the Legal Advices

Monday, November 1, 2010

R.36 updated retroactively

The EPO has a decision on its website amending R.36 to included the references to R.71(1) & R.71(3) ans the only communications from the Examining Division that trigger the 24m time limit for voluntary divisionals.

No change in meaning has occurred - they have simply added to the Rule what the interpretation already was.

Ancillary Regulations - to be reissued this year (2010)

The EPO will provide an updated version of the Ancillary Regulations as Special Edition Nr 1 - it should be ready by the end of the year
These Ancillary Regulations comprise decisions of the president and notices of the EPO, and this will save candidates having to scan through 2.5 years of OJ's

Thursday, October 7, 2010

G1/09 - do you need to know it for the exam?

The short answer is: yes.
The syllabus states that you need to know the law as of 31/12/2010 and EQE 2011 will certainly have a number of questions on divisionals.
Your answer to a simple question like: "you anticipate a refusal in oral proceedings next week - what is the last possible moment to file a divisional?" may now be completely different. (see here for the answer)

I would also say that this is essential knowledge for daily life.

Also the legal basis for being able to file up to (but not including) the mention of the grant is no longer OJ 2002, 112 or GL A-IV, 1.1.1. It has now become Art.67(4), G1/09.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Now confirmed - pre-exam in 2012, it will be multiple choice

The exam committee has made an announcement yesterday on the EPO website that the pre-exam will go ahead in 2012.

The only thing that is not in the REE is the confirmation that the exam will be multiple choice. This was always the most likely because they need to keep the marking workload as low as possible and you need to know very quickly to give you time to prepare for the rest of the EQE.

Monday, September 13, 2010

PCT Applicants Guide now updated

The introduction to the PCT Applicants Guide (International Phase), which explains the law and procedure under PCT, has been updated. As far as I can tell, the only major change is related to e-mails (10.018A) and indicating the basis for amendments (11.047A).

Both could be part of an EQE question.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

EQE 2010 Results - Statistics [3]

The following is histogram of all the C-scores from the list of EQE results this year.

56% of 1611 candidates got 45 points or less, which means that probably about half the candidates will need to resit. Those with 45 may be able to compensate their C paper at a future exam.

The average is about 42, including the 0 scores
The average of all non-zero scores > 0 (these are probably all registered but never turned up for C) is about 45

First ever pre-exam training for EQE 2012 now available

We are the first in Europe to offer a training program for those who want to do the pre-exam in 2012, and the full EQE in 2013. Some background details on what is required can be found here in a presentation I gave at CEIPI.tutors' meeting in June.

We are offering a 4x 3-day combined pre-exam training (legal topics, A/B topics and exam training) sessions. It does require 4 trips to Eindhoven in June, Sept, Oct & Nov 2011, but this is designed so that you get optimal feedback on the homework questions you make between the sessions. The legal topics will include both substantive and procedural modules.
We are also offering a 3-day exam training for the pre-exam (both legal and A/B parts) in June 2011, to be repeated in September and December, for those who have already followed a legal training elsewhere.
If interested, please contact
We also offer an in-house variant of 10 days just covering the legal issues.
For those succesful in the pre-exam, we will also offer an EQE training course in 2012 which will bring candidates from the pre-exam level to the full EQE level.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

EQE 2010 Results - Statistics [2]

The following is histogram of all the D-scores from the list of EQE results this year.

54% of 1279 candiadtes got 45 points or less, which means that probably about half the candidates will need to resit. Those with 45 may be able to compensate their D paper at a future exam.

The average is about 41. The average of all scores > 0 (these are probably all registered but never turned up for D) is about 46

Thursday, August 12, 2010

EQE 2010 Results - Statistics [1]

The EPO has published a list of EQE results this year. It makes interesting reading - a top score of 95 for D this year is pretty amazing.

I had some questions about the list - does anybody know:

- What are the significance of the .....X registration numbers ?
- How are the registration numbers assigned ?
- Can I see who is a re-sitter from the registration numbers ?
- Does a 0 score mean that an answer was handed in and marked, or that the candidate was registered for the exam and didn't turn up (or both) ?
- There seems to be 2 blocks of numbers 1xxxxx and 2xxxxx - does this have any significance?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Extra feedback for EQE 2010 Re-Sitters (Paper C and D)

Congratulations to those who passed at least something at the EQE 2010. Any exam passed is quite an achievement.

Remember that if you got 45-49 points at EQE 2010, you may not have to resit this paper if you are able to compensate with future attempts.
If you got 44 or less, then you must retake the paper.

For those who unfortunately failed C or D, we offer extra feedback to help face the preparation for EQE 2011.

The feedback from the examination committees is generally not enough to figure out where points were lost - you only get the marks per question as a marking sheet.

Under our Correction of  EQE papers program, we offer correction of EQE 2010 C, DI and DII papers at the end of August 2010 to help re-sitters figure out what went wrong. We provide individual comments, suggestions for improvement, our own detailed marking sheet and our proprietary model solutions.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Serbia = newest EPC state

Always important on the EQE are the EPC member states. For any filings on or after 1 Oct 2010, Serbia will be designated. For filings < 1 Oct 2010, Serbia can only be approached via the extension system from an EP filing. More details here

Monday, July 19, 2010

More instructions from the EPO on 1 April 2010 changes

The EPO is now running into some practical problems with the new rules.

It can happen that you get a communication stamped "Examining Division" on EP entry.
However, this is not the "first communication fro the Examining Division: for filing divisionals.

You may also be asked to respond to the first office action even if its not required. But legally there will be no loss of rights if you don't respond.

Good luck explaining this to a formalities officer in your firm ;-)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Get tips from past EQE candidates

The annual EQE candidate survey is available here

Although it is a long read, it does give useful comments on exam locations, hotels, books and courses people used, how they prepared, and comments for future candidates (page 117 onwards).
There is no "golden" route that works for everybody - you have to find your own way, but the most important points are:
  • Make a plan
  • Don't start preparation too late - depends on your work, family & social commitments
  • Reading is not enough - practice applying the law (doing questions, past papers)
  • Don't underestimate C and DII
  • Practice writing by hand
  • Get feedback from tutors / colleagues etc on your answers to papers

Sunday, June 6, 2010

More info on EPO being a SISA

From 1/7/2010, the EPO will offer Supplementary International Searches. This will almost certainly be in the D paper.
An overview of the information is here

Some details of procedures are found in the rest of the May OJ EPO here

The Applicants Guide (WIPO) has been updated with a SIS entry for the EPO here

Monday, May 3, 2010

New: Basic IP Courses

Two new courses - these are not EQE courses, but beginners courses, found here. For these courses, I tried to include a lot of the things that I wish I has learned when I started out.They will be offer back-to-back in the same week as the first is the ideal preparation for the second.

The first is an Introduction to Patents, aimed at anyone who wants or needs to know about patents. This could be trainee patent attorneys, but also any one who needs to review a patent or judge their quality, such as inventors, IP coordinators or IP managers. Practical exercises are used to explain claiming.

The second is Claim Drafting in Electricity/Mechanics, aimed at trainee patent attorneys who want a quick way to become competent at drafting. With the necessary theoretical background and practical drafting exercises, the procedure from invention to patent application is illustrated and practiced.

New: Winning Oppositions and Appeals course

Another new course, for practicing patent attorneys and IP lawyers who want to go beyond the "EQE-level" of knowledge to get more confidence when dealing with these cases. Although in-depth legal knowledge of novelty and inventive step, practicals aspects are also dealt with such as auxiliary requests, oral proceedings, anticipating the next procedural stage.A lot of the contents is based upon my own experience, and this is a course I would have like to have followed myself a few years ago.

It is part of our Continuous Education For Patent Attorneys program, found here, which provides training and seminars in subjects important in daily life, and given from the patent attorney point-of-view, not the EPO point-of-view.

New: Distance Learning for legal part of paper D

Our distance learning package for the paper D legal part is now available here for EQE 2011.
This unique course concept allows you to study the EPC/PCT whenever and wherever you want, but with the security and guidance of individual feedback, and a steady study and homework schedule to get you through the material. We already have a couple of people doing this, so I defined a package for it.

This legal training is the perfect preparation before participating in our Correction Papers program, which can also be done at distance.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

All links should now be updated

We recently launched a new website at

The only problem is that all the addresses are changed, and the old links don't work anymore.

I have finally gone through all the posts, and all the links should work.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Final version Guidelines AND potential EQE 2011 Exam topics

The provisional version of the Guidelines from December has now been finalized.
It is available here.

This should be the version that you will use for EQE 2011 – it is unlikely they will update it again this year.

The notice below gives the changes compared to the last finalized version of April 2009.
We have not yet identified any changes since the provisional version of December.

However, as the exam committee likes to ask questions on things that have changed, you can consider this list as an overview of potential exam topics.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

DII paper - EQE 2010 - possible issue

The reference to EP1 by EPKM is a problem for enablement.Withdrawing EP1 solves this, but EP1 is the first application for the signal. 

I did the exam in the office under exam conditions, and I admit I missed the complication - I read the Guidelines, and simply suggested withdrawing EP1. To get the broadest invention patented (signal), I suggested claiming priority of EP1 with EP3.
I thought of it afterwards, so I asked a couple of knowledgeable people and they didn't know for certain either.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thanks to patents, I work in the top Micro City in Europe !

Eindhoven scores thanks to patents
The leading British newspaper Financial Times has named Eindhoven a European City of the Future for 2010/11:
Every year, the Financial Times magazine fDI rates European cities and regions based on their respective economical achievements. After more than 6 months of researching 223 cities in Europe, Eindhoven was placed 10th in the Western European City category, and 1st in the 'Micro Cities' category for cities with less than 250.000 residents.  
Eindhoven’s performance was due to high scores for economic potential and business friendliness, based on criteria such as the number of patents, number of companies in R&D and high-tech manufacturing, employment in the knowledge-intensive sector, forecast growth rate, and innovation index.
The full article can be read here

Friday, March 12, 2010

Did any of this help ?

Please let me know if any of the posts helped you. Also if anything was wrong or misleading.
Of course, you may want to wait for the results in August ;-)

Enjoy the summer.

Opinion on DI and DII - EQE 2010

I am not involved with the Exam Committee, so I have no inside information.

I always do the D exam in the office as soon as possible after the exam, under exam conditions - books on paper, exam timing etc. This gives me a feeling for the difficulty and any unclear parts of the papers.

When the Compendium answers are published in August, I can check my attempt to see how close I would have been. I aim to do each paper in less than official time to approach the stress felt by candidates.
Click below to see my impressions - comments are welcome

Saturday, March 6, 2010

More news on the EQE pre-exam

A new version of the REE (EQE exam regulation) has appeared on the EPO website here
I have not looked into all the differences, but some form has now been given to the EQE for 2012 and beyond.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Good Luck on the EQE !!!

- get to the exam on-time
- take a suitcase on wheels for your D library
- don't panic. think simple
the papers are designed so that all 1600 candidates can answer them 

- 2010 results are under the new EQE compensation system,
so 45 points is probably enough for 1 or 2 papers

Monday, February 22, 2010

Take your own calendars to the D-exam?

I frequently get asked about taking your own calendars - you can highlight holidays and weekends in advance, for example.

Preparation of your own calendars takes some time, so you need to balance this investment with any benefit and the risk. You have to decide which years to take, and try not to make any mistakes.

Some people either take the ones from the relevant OJEPO,
or they use the DeltaPatents ones, which we provide are for use with our training materials.

Monday, February 15, 2010

EPC1973 Ancillary Regulations

The EPO has removed the Ancillary Regulations EPC1973 from their web site. As I pointed out, many of the references have been superseded, so probably the EPO feels that making old references available is confusing for users.

Non-EPC law for the EQE

Someone asked me what they need to know about US, JP, KR, CN patent law.

Friday, February 12, 2010

For qualified attorneys - continous education

It is hard to find time to keep up with the changes in the law, and recent case law. We read everything and pick out the important things so you don't have to ;-)

We are organising a Patent Law update in Utrecht, NL on 8 March 2010.
Utrecht is about 20 minutes in the train from Amsterdam Schiphol airport.

Mock pre-exam - questions & answers

The Examination Board has published the questions and answers from the mock Pre-Exam, held last week.
As they indicate, this may not necessarily reflect the final format.

It comprises some legal questions based on the DI 2007, and some claim interpretation based on A 2004.
So, for anybody preparing for EQE2010, you may want to do it as an extra check during your preparation.
The questions of DI 2007 (and answers) have been updated with more recent dates.
The questions are here in German / English / French. An answer sheet is provided on the last page
The answers are here

Monday, February 1, 2010

Potential exam questions EQE 2010 - from OJEPO and PCT NL

I get asked many times what I think will be on the D exam. Most of the questions and issues will be based upon the core of the EPC, which changes little.
However, they also like to ask questions based on things that have been published and changed “recently”.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tips for the EQE

A great list and discussion of tips from last year can be found here

To see my recommendations of which material to take to the exam, see here

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pre-exam EQE 2012 - update

I have heard from some candidates preparing for EQE 2010 who have been invited to help try out a mock version of the pre-exam in Munich and London. This seems like a very smart way to test both the format and level of the pre-exam using guinea-pigs of about the right level.
Although we still have to wait until March to hear definitely what will be tested and how, we know that the mock pre-exam has:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Individual correction of C2009 and DII 2009 papers

As part of our training program, we correct papers that people send us. We give individual feedback about style and any legal errors, together with a detailed marking sheet (more detailed than the standard EQE marking sheets) and our comprehensive model solution.
We have received several requests for the correction of 2009 papers, so we have added the C2009 and DII 2009 papers.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Other PCT things to print out and take

If there is still room in your suitcase, I would also recommend the following for PCT:

Printable PCT Applicants Guide now available for EQE 2010

Thanks to Cees Mulder (known to EQE candidates as the author of the Cross-referenced PCT) for letting me know about the latest version printable PCT Applicants Guide.
The EQE Examination Board arranges each year that the WIPO produces a printable version of the PCT Applicants Guide to take to the exam. These are large files (1600 pages). No electronic equipment is allowed at the EQE, so you have no choice - you have to print out what you want to take.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Updated info about the EQE 2010

The EQE Board appears to be updating all the old notices regarding the exam. Usually the secretariat send this in an e-mail, but just in case you don't get it, you can find the updated instructions regarding the conduct of the EQE here

Differences I have noticed with the previous version (from Dec 2008 - see here):

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Art.54(2) - When is something publicly available?

One of the problems learning the EPC is the large amount of detail presented in case law. For certain subjects, it helps to understand the general principles before you look at the details.

One such area is Art.54(2) - when is something made available to the public ?
For those doing the EQE, this is important for the C & D exams.