Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Updated information on the EQE2013 papers

The Examination Board has updated its notice about the papers of 2013. There are two additions on page 3:

Candidates are advised that a pre-printed notice of opposition form will be provided as
in previous years. However, the "Notes to the notice of opposition (EPO Form 2300)"
included in paper C in previous years, will not be provided from 2013 onwards.

Paper D will indicate separately the number of marks available for each
of the questions relating to the subjects mentioned in Rule 26(2) IPREE (i.e. questions
of the type found in former paper DI) and the total of marks available for questions
relating to the subjects mentioned in Rule 26(3) IPREE (i.e. questions of the type found
in former paper DII).

The first one I had not heard before.
The second one was mentioned in the Tutor’s Report

Friday, November 2, 2012

Tutors' Report on the EQE 2012 Papers [and comments on 2013 paper formats]

For the first time ever, the EQE tutors have made minutes of their meeting with the EQE tutors in September. I have combined and edited the comments to make single report:

In addition to documenting the discussions with the Examination Committees, comments are provided on the Compendium answers and there are some comments about the changes to the paper in 2013.

Friday, July 27, 2012

EQE 2013 - the new C and D papers

Unfortunately, we do not yet know exactly what the C and D papers will look like in 2013. The Examination Board recently published more information:

- A single 5 hour exam on Thursday - see schedule 
- probably no legal questions unrelated to the rest of the opposition
- possibly less prior art / fewer claims / fewer possible attacks

- A single 5 hour exam on Tuesday - see schedule 
- with DI-style questions [roughly about 40% of marks to be done in 2 hours]
- with DII-style questions [roughly about 60% of marks to be done in 3 hours]

The best advice is to prepare to be able to do the exams of the last four years, and look through the paper before you start to determine how you are going to do it, and where you are going to spend the time. Actually, this is the same advice that I give every year because the format of these papers is always unpredictable.

The main difference in 2013 will be less time, so an appropriate strategy and good time-keeping will be essential. Good argumentation and reasoning will get you the points.

Some more details on this are available for D and for C

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Congratulations to those who passed

I have posted some statistics for the D paper here

Good news: it looks like there are more candidates who got 45 or more, compared to last year.

Nr candidates taking D: 1440
Score range: 0 - 83
Average score: 39.5
With 0-44: 56.5%
With 45-100: 43.5%
With 50-100: 33%

Nr candidates taking D:1280
Score range:0 - 81
Average score: 37
With 0-44: 65%

With 45-100: 35.5%
With 50-100: 27%

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Taking responsibility for your own success

To many candidates, the EQE seems almost impossible, particularly for those who have forgotten what it is like to prepare for an exam like this.

A good book to help you think about what you need to do [and how to do it] is:
How to Pass Your Exams, by Mike Evans.

There is also a free online version here

I recently discovered this, and I was amazed to see how many general tips match almost word-for-word with the specific EQE tips that we have collected over the years.

Friday, March 30, 2012

EQE 2013

The relevant enrolment dates have now been published:
Pre-Exam enrolment: 1 Apr 2012 - 11 June 2012
Main-Exam enrolment: 1 Apr 2012 - 5 Sept 2012

Don't leave it too late - they are very strict, and late enrolment is never accepted. Further processing, extensions and re-establishment do not apply to these deadlines.

So fill in the forms on time, and make sure the payment is received in time.

If you are enrolling for the Pre-Exam, be aware that you may need to provide additional details about your technical qualifications - see REE

The date of the exams are also published - they will be held a little earlier next year:
Pre-Exam: 25 Feb 2013
Main-Exam: 26 - 28 Feb 2013

Friday, March 2, 2012

Good luck next week, and a final test for the D paper

Good luck to everyone taking an exam next week

Remaining tips:
- get plenty of rest in the weekend

- look through the exams before you start writing to see what you have to do
- if the exam looks different than previous exams (e.g. different number of questions, different order, less prior art, more prior art), don't panic. If you can do the previous exams, then you can do this one
- don't rush madly to get to the end - 3/4 of the points for 3/4 of the exam is also a pass

- if you discuss the exam afterwards, remember that no candidate actually knows the solutions which will be accepted

- take a few days off afterwards, and think about something else ;-)

Just in case you need a last test for D, you will find a multiple choice test on the EQE forum based on an old DI paper which I updated:

Friday, February 17, 2012

Useful PCT reference for German candidates

Unfortunately, PCT does not provide an Applicants Guide in German.

However, there is a useful book about PCT. In partiicular, there is a section (page 30-39) describing the PCT remedy system [Schutzvorkehrungen und Verfahrenssicherungen für internationale Anmeldungen]
and a seminar

Standard abbreviations - German

Never make an abbreviation list as part of your EQE answer – it wastes time and these abbreviations may be used on the EQE without giving the meaning. They are completely clear to all who mark the exam.

Standard abbreviations - English

Never make an abbreviation list as part of your EQE answer – it wastes time and these abbreviations may be used on the EQE without giving the meaning. They are completely clear to all who mark the exam.

Using abbreviations on the EQE

Every year, there is a meeting between tutors and the examination committee, and every year the Examination committee informs the tutors that a list of abbreviation is not required.

This is mainly something that German candidates do because they are used to doing this when writing legal petitions under their national law. It is sometimes also confusing because candidate answers chosen for the EQE compendium also have it in (the examination committees do not edit these answers).

It is not forbidden, but it is not required - if you do it, you will only lose time. How do you know which abbreviations you will actually use?

Your answers are marked by experienced attorneys who know the exam in great detail - they know the questions, expected answers and they know the law.

You do not lose points if you cite A.87(4) instead of Art.87(4) or Article 87(4)

The exam committee has no official list of accepted abbreviations, but we make a list for our candidates which we put in our questions & answers books. I have also included a German list (see separate posts).

These may be used on the exam without definitining them. They are perfectly clear to European patent attorneys who work with the EPO and WIPO materials.

If you use something else that may be unclear (e.g. sjm for subject matter), then write it out fully the first time you use it in your answers.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our FREE printable versions of the PCT Applicants Guide - available now for EQE2012

The Examination Board has a printable version available (here on the right-hand side of the page)

However, this document is 1700 pages with a lot of information that will never be asked on the EQE, such as details on African, Asian and South American states.
Also there are other things on the WIPO web-site which you should have with you that are not even included in the 1700 pages, such as the Reservations and Incompatibilities, and the agreement between the WIPO and the EPO.

As an alternative, I have captured and assembled 3 books. They are intended to be printed with 2 pages on each A4 sheet and double-sided. The specific information on states is restricted to EPC states, the largest patent offices, the 13 most popular rO's, and the 13 most popular dO's & eO's.

 – 72 pages
Comprising various overviews from the WIPO website such as Paris Convention states with accession dates, overview of all states that accept restoration of priority, Reservations & Incompatibilities and PCT fees of December 2011.
- 492 pages
Comprising the PCT “Guidelines” (Introduction to the international phase)
and the annexes for the selected states most likely to be needed on the EQE
Also comprising a useful guide to procedural safeguards,  the Request form with notes, the agreement between the WIPO and EPO, how to file at the IB and the EPO as SISA

- 160 pages
Comprising the Introduction to the national phase, national phase summaries for the selected states, and the national chapters for the states most likely to be on the exam. 
Also comprising a complete overview of all national entry time limits, EPC contracting and extension states (with access dates) and the EP entry form 1200 with notes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Improved EPO Guidelines index available

The Academy has now made an improved index available for the Guidelines (for the version of April 2010)

Importantly, the references are now to paragraphs instead of page numbers, so it will work with all language editions, not just the English ones.

So print it out and take it to the exam - many aspects of EQE answers are in the Guidelines.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Smaller printable version of PCT applicants Guide - coming soon !

As always, the Examination Board has made a printable version of the Applicants Guide available (see below)
However, these files are very large (1700 pages) because they comprise information for every PCT state world-wide.

In the past, the D Examination Committee has confirmed that candidates do not require all these details, but it is quite difficult for candidates to decide themselves what are the most important parts to take.

Therefore, I make every year a cut-down version of only 500 pages, with overviews from the WIPO web site that are also useful on the exam.
I will make one for EQE2012, but it is not ready yet - it should be available within the next two weeks.


From PCT Newsletter of January 2012:
Materials for the European Qualifying Examination (EQE)
In order to assist candidates in the preparation of materials for the European Qualifying Examination (EQE) for prospective European patent attorneys, the IB, with the agreement of the Examination Board for the EQE, has made available on the website four PDF files for the PCT Applicant's Guide, the International Phase and the National Phase as of 31 December 2011:

For printing purposes, please be warned that these PDF files are large – the complete collection in either language requires nearly 900 sheets of paper when printed recto verso – and may be difficult to download over a slow Internet connection. To avoid printing difficulties select “Fit to Printable Area” in the “Page Scaling” options when printing.