Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Read the Instructions To Candidates before going to the EQE 2016

A number of candidates seem unfamiliar with the Regulations on the EQE (REE), and in particular with the Instructions to candidates concerning the conduct of the EQE.

In 2015, there were some breaches of the REE with unfortunate consequences:

  • Many candidates add names or initials to their answer paper – this is very disruptive to the EC’s because it has to be manually removed before marking to preserve anonymity.
  • A candidate wrote the complete answer on the blank (back) sides of the EQE paper. After copying the sheets, only blank pages were submitted for marking, and the candidate was awarded 0 points. So only write on the lined side of the EQE paper provided. 
  • A candidate kept writing after the stop signal was given, even after being warned. The EB decided to subtract 5 points for this breach of the rules. In future, writing after the stop signal may be more strictly enforced. 
  • Some candidates were surprised that they were not permitted to have their phones with them. The rules concerning electronic devices are strict – candidates may not take any device, such as a telephone, tablet or smart watch, into the examination hall - even if turned off. They should be left at home or in the hotel. Although some examination centers may provide an envelope or lockers, these can be limited in number and should not be relied on.
Dont't be surprised: read the latest version of the REE (found on the EPO’s EQE page here).

Tutors' Report on EQE 2015 Papers

To help candidates and tutors learn more about the 2015 papers, and to give some tips for EQE 2016, I edit this report every year after the EQE Tutor Meeting in October, using the input from several experienced tutors.

This year, some more details are also given about the combined A and B papers to be introduced with EQE 2017.

It has been published in the latest edition of epi information (pages 134-142). An extract of the report only is available here.

From DeltaPatents, I summarised the D and Pre-Exam Paper discussions, and Jelle Hoekstra summarised the C Paper.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

D 2015

For anyone wishing to do the paper before the official copies are available in the compendium, DeltaPatents has copies on our blog.

In general, I advise the candidates who have done the exam to forget about it completely now, and enjoy your summer vacation 

We also have our proposed answers on the same blog, but only look if it is not going to upset you. Nobody knows where the points exactly will be, alternative answers etc. and it is my experience that you only remember the things that you missed and got wrong, and not the things that you actually did. These answers have also been made by 3 experienced D tutors and edited. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Strict compliance with the rules for the conduct of the exam (cont)

I have now received a clear confirmation of the policy during the exam regarding electronic devices from the EQE secretariat:

Electronic devices are strictly forbidden in the examination hall, no matter if they are turned off or not.
Any candidate found with such a device in the hall is clearly breaching the regulations, and he/she might face disqualification from the exam.
The only electronic devices which may be allowed in the examination hall are medical devices that candidates need for health reasons.
We recommend that candidates leave their mobile phone at their hotels if they are travelling.
There are no cloakrooms at the examination centre, however we will provide envelopes (you will have to write your name on it) where the device can be placed and it will be put in a box.
The box will be outside of the examination hall. Neither the Examination centres nor the Examination Secretariat  will take any responsibility for loss or damage to the items stored in this box.
This is probably not the solution that you wanted, but this is becoming common practice for exams. A simple watch with an analogue dial is the only thing you can have with you.

So either leave them all at home, or in the hotel, or car, or in train station locker.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Strict compliance with the rules for the conduct of the exam

We have heard from some candidates that the CEIPI tutors are warning that the some of the exam regulations are to be very strictly applied this year and in the future.

If you have any further questions, you can ask the EQE secretariat at

1) Electronic devices
Instructions to candidates concerning the conduct of the European qualifying examination

9. Candidates are not permitted to: (a) bring to the pre-examination or the main examination any electronic devices other than an analogue wrist watch with no additional options, unless express
prior permission to use such devices has been given by the Examination Secretariat;

14. The invigilators shall take the names of candidates who do not comply with these instructions and report to the Examination Board any other relevant circumstances.

According to an e-mail from the EQE organization (see below), no electronic devices (phones) will be allowed at all in the room. It therefore seems advisable not to take phones, watches, etc with you to the exam location as I am not aware of any lockers at the exam locations. If you have books etc. under the table, make sure there are no electronic devices(even turned off) in the bag as well.

2. Closing signal => means no more writing
Instructions to candidates concerning the conduct of the European qualifying examination
18. (Pre-exam) When the closing signal is given,
candidates must:(a) stop writing immediately
24. (Main Exam When the closing signal is given, candidates must:
(a) stop writing immediately,

It is common practice to number your pages at the end, and there was a degree of flexibility. But this may no longer be possible. So take the last few minutes to number your pages.

If the time is finished, and you forgot to number them, you can ask the invigilator if it is still possible under their supervision (this is also possible if you forget to hand in a page)


For the possible consequences, see R.19 and R.20 of the REE implementing regulations:
Rule 19 Conduct of the pre-examination or the examination
(1) If a candidate fails to comply with the instructions to candidates concerning the conduct of the pre-examination or the examination or with instructions given on the basis thereof by the invigilators,
the following measures may be taken by the Examination Board in respect of that candidate:
(a) deduction of marks
(b) instructions to the competent Examination
(c) instructions to the competent Examination Committee not to mark the answer paper concerned and not to award any marks, and/or
(d) disqualification from the preexamination or the examination for a given year.

Rule 20 Fraudulent behaviour
(1) Fraudulent behaviour is any behavior by a candidate with the aim of obtaining an undue advantage during registration/enrolment or during/after the pre-examination or the examination.
Such behaviour may consist, inter alia, in presenting false documents, making false or incomplete statements and/or using equipment during the preexamination or the examination which is
not allowed.
(2) The following measures may be taken by the Examination Board if fraudulent behaviour has been discovered:
(a) refusal of registration and/or enrolment for the forthcoming and subsequent pre-examinations or examinations
(b) deduction of marks
(c) instructions to the competent Examination Committee to mark the answer paper concerned only in part
(d) instructions to the competent Examination Committee not to mark the answer paper concerned and not to award any marks, and/or
(e) disqualification from the preexamination or the examination for a given year.

Letter from EQE secretariat:
Sehr geehrte Bewerberin, sehr geehrter Bewerber,
aufgrund der Erfahrungen der letzten Jahre und um eine faire Prüfung zu gewährleisten, möchten wir Sie an Folgendes erinnern:
Während der EEP sind elektronische Geräte VERBOTEN.
Mobiltelefone und viele andere elektronische Geräte sind heute ein fester Bestandteil unseres täglichen Lebens. Sie können jedoch nicht Teil der EEP sein und es ist strengstens verboten, elektronische Geräte jeder Art, seien es Mobiltelefone, Kameras, digitale Uhren oder Wecker mit in den Prüfungsraum zu nehmen (siehe Anweisungen für den Ablauf der europäischen Eignungsprüfung, Zusatzpublikation ABl. EPA 2/2014, S. 38 ff.). Unter keinen Umständen sind elektronische Geräte im Prüfungsraum erlaubt.
Bewerber, die mit einem elektronischen Gerät im Prüfungsraum vorgefunden werden (ausgenommen bei ausdrücklicher Genehmigung des Prüfungssekretariats), werden der Prüfungskommission gemeldet. Dies kann ernste Folgen haben (siehe Regeln 19 und 20 ABVEP).
Das Prüfungssekretariat ist überzeugt, dass Sie die Regeln respektieren. Wir wünschen Ihnen viel Erfolg für die kommende europäische Eignungsprüfung.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Das Prüfungssekretariat
Europäische Eignungsprüfung
Europäisches Patentamt, 80298 München, Germany
Tel. +49/89/2399-5155; Fax +49/89/2399-514

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Known errors in Main Exam Questions for Paper D - May 2014

These are the most important corrections and amendments that we have made in the Main Exam Questions for Paper D book since it was published in May 2014. Please let us know if anything is not clear.

The known errors in the Basic Legal Questions are here

Suggested list of books and other things to take to the Main & Pre-Exam - EQE 2015

- Read through the rules regarding the conduct of the exam (page 27-35)
- See 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 the Monday night
- Take a suitcase with wheels
- After doing last years papers, look at the Tutors Report on thos papers to help with interpreting the EQE Compendium - epi infomation pages 138-145
- If necessary, look at some tips for reducing anxiety at the exam
- A good book on passing exams is "How To Pass Your Exams" by Mike Evans
- 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 (we hear that gel-pens are preferred, but they can run out quickly)
- no electronic devices: only a wrist watch with an analogue display (and without any additional options) is allowed on your desk during the exam.
correction roller
- highlighters for use when reading the exam paper (don't use blue on anything that will be handed in as it will not copy well)
- Pre-Exam only: 1-2 black medium soft HB pencils + suitable eraser + pencil sharpener

Monday, January 26, 2015

Our FREE printable versions of the PCT Applicants Guide - available now for EQE2015

By agreement with the EQE Examination Board, the WIPO produces a printable version of the complete PCT Applicants Guide, including all the annexes, specifically for the Pre- and Main Exam. The current version can be found here. However, this version is 1800 pages and much of the information provided will never be required at the exam because it falls outside the syllabus.

Candidates already have enough to take to the exam. Based upon the EQE Regulations, past D papers and comments from the D Examination Committee, we have produced this abbreviated version to lighten the load and to save a few trees. Additionally, the WIPO provides useful overviews on its website to use at the exam, such as the PCT reservations, overviews for restoration of priority etc. which we have also included. Many candidates are unaware of their existence, and they are not even included in the official 1800 page version.

Our document of about 850 pages is available free of charge to download from the DeltaPatents website ( – navigate to Training / Course Links and look under PCT for the “PCT references”. Please feel free to pass on the links to anyone who needs them.

To save paper when printing, it is designed to be printed with 2 pages on each side of an A4.

Basic information is included for all PCT states such as Treaty membership, reservations, national entry deadlines etc. For the most relevant states, almost all information from the Applicants Guide annexes is included:
  • The top 15 receiving Offices in 2013 and the top 20 dO/eO’s in 2012 (WIPO statistics) 
  • All EPC states and all extension states 
  • All ISA’a, SISA’s, IPEA’s, and all Intergovernmental Organizations
Extensive information is provided for the EPO. For the other four largest patent offices - CN, EP, JP, KR, US, the complete summary of entry requirements and national procedure from the national chapter is provided (the fees and forms have been removed).

This reference is split into 3 parts:
Good luck at the EQE!