I have not looked into all the differences, but some form has now been given to the EQE for 2012 and beyond.
For candidates with at least 2 years patent experience on the date the pre-exam is to be held (not yet known, but presumably in March 2012) are required to take the pre-exam in 2012. If successful, they may then take the A, B, C and D papers in 2013.
The pre-exam in 2012 and beyond
R.6(2) Pass level = 50/100. Only PASS or FAIL, no COMPENSABLE FAIL
R.8(1) Fee = 130 Euro (same as A, B, C & D papers)
(1) A pre-examination shall be held for the first time in 2012.
(2) The pre-examination shall consist of one paper.
(3) The purpose of this paper shall be to assess candidates' ability to answer legal questions and questions relating to the drafting of claims
The duration of this paper shall be four hours.
To compensate for this extra exam, the B, C & D exams are to be shortened (in total by 4 hours) - see below.
(4) The paper shall consist of:
(a) legal questions relating to the candidates' knowledge of the documents referred to in Rule 22(1)
(b) questions on at least one technical proposal from a client, at least one draft
claim in respect of that technical proposal and at least one relevant prior art
Candidates will be expected to answer questions on the allowability of the claim(s) under the European Patent Convention (hereinafter "the EPC") and as to whether the claim(s) provide(s) the broadest possible protection under the EPC. When answering the questions, candidates shall bear in mind the requirements of the EPC, in particular regarding novelty and inventive step, and the recommendations contained in the Guidelines for Examination in the EPO (hereinafter "the Guidelines").
No mention of multiple choice answers, as was used in the mock pre-exam
No mention of whether there will be chemical and electro/mechanical options. For the mock pre-exam, there was only an electro/mechanical question
The A, B, C & D papers in 2013 and beyond:
Content of the examination – Drafting paper (Paper A)
No major changes
Content of the examination – Reply paper (Paper B)
A 3 hour paper instead of 4 hours
The paper shall include ... a draft set of claims to be filed with the candidates' response to the official communication
The response shall be in the form of a letter ... accompanied by the claims supplied by the client, amended as appropriate to meet the requirements of the EPC.
Content of the examination – Opposition paper (Paper C)
5 hours instead of 6 hours
Content of the examination – Legal paper (Paper D)
A single paper of 5 hours instead of DI:3 hours + DII:4 hours