Wednesday, December 30, 2020

eEQE Mock1 - Experience & Tips - PE & D1/D2

Updated 27 Jan 21: see post on using digital functionality more during exam. Updated 7 Jan 21. Based on Mock1, PE, D1 and D2 seem very doable with a small amount of practice. Important is to find the way that is most efficient for you that results in the fewest mistakes. It is a pity that no highlighting is available in D1/D2 - this would reduce the risk of mistakes. Concentrate on the content (as before) and dont be distracted by additional possibilities to make your answers look nice. Feel free to distribute any materials as long as you indicate the source. There is a separate post for A, B and C.

Hardware - laptop with screen disabled using Windows display settings, 27inch external monitor 1280x1080 connected via USB-C to HDMI converter

Software - Win10, Chrome browser. I created a new user account with user-only privileges (not administrator). But to start Lockdown Browser (Respondus v2.06.08 7 Aug 20), you need to enter administrator password when prompted. The only "problem" I encountered was that local copies (invigilator options in case of problems) were saved in the Downloads folder of the administrator account, not the user account.

General plus points:

  • Repeatedly opening and closing browser (and rebooting) did not affect the editor window - it retained the answer. 
  • Can open many tabs of assignments, zoom and search in them, allowing separate views of pages or parts of pages.
  • Copy/paste from tab useful for words and phrases 
  • PE: allows quick and intuitive highlighting of words & phrases in questions
General minus points:
  • Separate participations passwords are needed for each part, provided by email. But once Lockdown Browser starts, you can no longer read e-mails or print. Make sure you have the right ones available on paper for the whole exam (for split exams, there will be more than one).
  • Selection of specific text in tabs is sometime difficult - copy/paste frequently left pieces behind or copied too much. You waste time reformatting. I dont know if this is related to the pdf. 
  • For D no highlighting. For pages only available on-screen, impossible to keep track of what you used or noticed. 
  • Multiple tabs cannot be named or viewed side-by-side
  • Bug 1: max of 9 additional tabs (in addition to main tab). If you open 11th tab (10th additional tab), browser freezes and PC must be rebooted. It is also possible to click (i) in browser, select "Proctor Exit", and then enter Invigilator Password to exit.
  • Bug 2: with smaller screens (14 inch), tabs can be opened but not accessed as they are off screen. Max. 6 tabs visible on 14 inch screen. 
  • Only one view of your answer available, so for long answers (D2) you may need to scroll around.
Tips - PE
  • Print all the password emails before starting.
  • Use flags for uncertain questions and a sticky note summarizing your uncertainty. 
  • Use notepad to keep claims (or other text) visible during scrolling and/or moving between questions
  • Dont use drawing options - highlighting and sticky notes are superior
Tips - ME D
    • Print all the password emails before starting.
    • Use separate online tabs for at least the non-printable pages. For D, can use 1 tab for each non-printable page. With a 27-inch screen, full page view is easily readable.
    • If several tabs open, use (coloured) tabs on top edge of your monitor to indicate what each one is (Q or Page) so you can click quickly to what you want.
    • It is tempting, but dont copy too much text from assignment to answer to make it nice. 
    • For copy/paste in tabs, try selecting bottom up instead of top down before copying
    • CTRL keys work in answer - C, V, B, U, I etc. "Shift+arrow" works for selection
    • Dont waste time on nicely formatting your answer - use one header, use "-" and "1"etc instead of bullets and numbered lists, dont use font colors or text backgrounds (may be lost if text is converted further)
    • Dont put tables in answer - can just use TAB for aligned lists. They want to see arguments and explanation, not a table for which the interpretation is subjective. 
    • Make any analysis table/matrix/chart on paper - if you put in your answer, it will be slower, take up a lot of room (so you will have to scroll more). This is not getting any marks, so keep it brief and refer to paragraphs in the exam. 
    • Dont use drawing or Latex appendices - these are included as images in your answer and take up a lot of room.
    • Dont use drawing appendix for timelines - does not get marks, much slower than doing on paper.
    • Use a template for each answer, and put the headings in your answer. This prevents you forgetting things and allows you to quickly navigate.
    • Use one or two heading types in answer (Heading3 or Heading4) - this allows you to click on headings in Table of Contents to quickly jump (this worked the first time I used it, but when I went back the clicking did not work anymore).
    • To reduce risk of copying wrong details to paper overviews, read assignment in tabs and select dates or facts (as if you were going to copy) before you not them so that you do not lose your place, making it easier to double check.
    • You don't need complete sentences - answers can be given bullet-style to reduce scrolling.
    Suggested improvements:
    • Send one email with all participation passwords for a whole day in one e-mail
    • PE: Separate languages, not all three. Fix Completed status. Allow unselection of T/F.
    • PE: provide electronic version of assignment and calendars
    • PE: allow resizing of notepad window
    • ME: allow zooming of assignment preview
    • D1 & D2: provide electronic version of calendars
    • ME: allow highlighting of at least non-printable pages, preferably all pages
    • ME: clarify what is expected with drawing & Latex appendices. Drawing is slow way of answering. Text boxes can be inserted with drawings, but this is very slow. Is this to be encouraged? Will these be accepted as part of the answer?
    • ME: allow text-only appendices to be defined and inserted into answer. These would allow different sections of answer to be visible in different tabs.
    • ME: make sure hyperlinks in Table of Contents work reliably


    • Extra time given: 40 mins (now 4 hr 40 mins) - four parts
    • Pre-print: only calendars (legal) and application description & prior art (claims analysis). Calendars not available electronically.
    • Only on screen: questions and claims
    • No separate answer/assignment tabs. Question can be highlighted
    • Three languages always visible means scrolling a lot up and down (mainly in claims analysis) between text being evaluated and selections.  This increases chance of incorrect reading or missing critical word/phrase.
    • Can copy/paste parts of question to notepad, so always visible. But either small or full-screen - cannot resize.
    • Cannot unselect T/F choice, but can place a sticky note, can highlight or flag question to indicate unsure answers
    • Can move to next question and come back later - sticky notes & highlighting remain
    • Overview indicates uncompleted, completed & flagged questions. Bug: questions considered "completed" in overview when some but not all T/F's had been answered
    • Not possible to open an electronic version of complete exam
    • Overall verdict: legal questions work well. Claims analysis doable if one language only is made visible, and you use notepad for text of claims to help comparison.

    • Extra time given: 15 mins (now 3 hrs) - two parts
    • Pre-print: only calendars. Calendars not available electronically.
    • Only on screen: questions
    • Separate answer/assignment tabs. No highlighting. 25 marks per D1 part - expect 3 or 4 questions per part. Allowed 3.6 mins per mark, but advise using 3 minutes per mark => 15 mins reserve and mentally easy to calculate.
    • 1) Open each page (expect 3 - 5 pages) in a separate tab for extracting dates to timelines and possibly copying words or phrases. If helpful, use (coloured) tabs on top edge of your monitor (Q1, Q3, Q5). Do NOT open more than 10 tabs as this crashes the browser.
    • 2) Use Heading3 or Heading4 for Question numbers (other headings were very big). So if answer becomes longer, can use Table of Content option with links to jump quickly between parts of answer. Note: this worked the first time, but when I went back later, the links did not work anymore. Also need to close preview to see it.
    • 3) Start reading first question - decide within few minutes whether you will answer now or do last. Do your best questions first.
    • 4) Open assignment preview side-by-side and view question while answering. Not zoomable, so may need to be scrolled.
    • 5) If answer requires parts, add a), b), c) reminders to editor window. This is reminder to answer all parts - dont need to copy question into answer. Answer is marked as a whole, so a), b), c) parts can be answered anywhere. Can use abbreviations. 
    • 7) Read in assignment tab as this allows temporary selection of text so that you do not lose your place when copying facts/dates between screen and  paper.
    • 6) Draw timeline on paper. Too slow to make an electronic version in answer and gets no marks anyway. Not feasible or useful to draw with mouse in a drawing appendix.
    • 8) Be clear on what is being tested by identifying keywords within the question and determining where you are in the grant procedure. You can use a D1 checklist like this. This should be enough to start answering.

    • 9) View question in assignment preview side-by-side while completing answer and looking up legal basis. Not zoomable, so may need to scroll.
    • 10) The answer I generated for this D1 question is available here.
    • Overall verdict: D1 questions are doable - little difference with paper only. Main dangers are mistakes copying dates between screen and paper timelines or notes - double check as mistakes can cost a lot of marks. Each answer is marked as a whole, so repetition is not always necessary. You don't need complete sentences - answers can be given bullet-style to reduce scrolling.

     - see here for a presentation about how to approach D2
    • Extra time given: 15 mins (now 3 hrs) - one part
    • Pre-print: only calendars. Calendars not available electronically.
    • Only on screen: legal opinion assignment and questions
    • Separate answer/assignment tabs. No highlighting. 50 marks per D2 part - expect 3-5 pages followed by 4-5 short questions. Points per question not normally given.
    • 1) Open each page (expected 3 - 5 pages) in a separate tab for extracting dates to timelines, key facts for overviews and possibly copying words or phrases (normally you will not need to do this in D2). If helpful, use (coloured) tabs on top edge of your monitor (P1, P2, P3/Questions). Do NOT open more than 10 tabs as this crashes the browser.
    • 2) Read questions first in last tab so that you know what you need to address in your answer. You are looking for clues to key legal issues, key rights, important countries, and main competitors. 
    • 3) Copy questions into answer to ensure you answer each question (marks are frequently lost on D2 by not answering the questions) and each part of question. Be explicit about products, countries and parties.
    • 4) Also make a TO DO List on paper for things not to forget. Dont make electronically in answer as this will increase scrolling and gets no marks anyway.
    • 5) Read in assignment tab as this allows temporary selection of text so that you do not lose your place when copying facts/dates between screen and paper. Read each paragraph, sentence by sentence and either note facts/dates in an overview tool or note on TO DO list. These are just notes - refer to paragraph number for details.
    • 6) Two main types of overview tool - a simple timeline (similar to DI) + application/patent & possible A.54(2) overviews; or combined timeline-table. Notes made on paper should be brief as they get no marks - main goal is to sort information from exam order into a more logical order for patentability analysis. Refer to paragraph numbers. Don't make electronically in answer as this will be slower, will increase scrolling, gets no marks anyway, and you need the overview to be visible as you compose your answer. Use abbreviations - e.g. CC-ell rib, CC-tri rib, CC-rib, CC-X, CP-G in overview tool.
    • 7) For all applications/patents, check whether it was published and add to timeline. If not given explicitly, you should be able to work it out (published if pending at 18m).
    • 8) Add header ANALYSIS to answer. Put in here any legal analysis made while considering facts from exam as that will get marks - for example, filings outside 12m priority year, likely publication dates (18m), legal status of applications, period for remedies expired etc. Answer is marked as a whole, so it is not necessary to have arguments fully grouped together. Optionally have a separate header for LEGAL ISSUES if you prefer. These sections are for pieces that you will need later, but you do not know exactly where they should go.
    • 9) The answer template I generated for this D2 exam is available here.
    • 10) For every claim, analyse whether priority is valid, and thus effective dates. Add to your answer under ANALYSIS and note the effective dates for the claims in your timeline.
    • 11) The other pieces you will need are novelty and inventive step of each claim. Combined with procedural status and legal knowledge, you can predict who will get what rights and where based upon the situation-as-is (what will happen if you do not take any actions). The impact on sales/manufacturing of each product can also be predicted. A right on a genus can block all species. A right on a species can only block the same species. This is the detail needed for Q.1 in this exam.
    • 12) Open assignment preview side-by-side and view relevant paragraphs while answering. Not zoomable, so may need to be scrolled. You don't need complete sentences - answers can be given bullet-style to reduce scrolling. Can use abbreviations - e.g. CC-ell rib, CC-tri rib, CC-rib, CC-X, CP-G in answer.
    • 13) While answering Q.1, you will notice actions you can take to improve the clients business and/or attack the competitors business. These should be detailed under Q. 2 in your answer. Also consider filing new applications preferably claiming priority and/or claiming unclaimed subject matter. Licensing and cross-licensing are usually relevant. 
    • 14) For each action, you can predict whether it will be successful and how it changes the situation described under Q.1. This improved situation is detailed under Q.3 in your answer, being specific about the impacts on manuf/sales of particular products in particular countries.
    • Overall verdict: With only 3-4 non printable pages, and extra time, D2 is doable. This mock is a 60 mark D2, so the 2021 D2 should require a shorter answer. Normally, you can mark on paper  copy sentences you dont understand, or to consider later or to not forget. Now, you need to make a brief note on a paper TO DO list. Main dangers are mistakes copying facts/dates between screen and paper timelines or notes - double check as mistakes can cost a lot of marks. Each answer is marked as a whole, so repetition is not always necessary. You don't need complete sentences - answers can be given bullet-style to reduce scrolling.
    • Updated 27 Jan 21: see post on using digital functionality more during exam.


    1. Dear Pete,

      just wanted to say Thank you! for all the effort you put into this blog to help us candidates! Also thank you for our guidance regarding this novel situation with the eEQE.

      Best Regards,


    2. Thank you Pete for your feedback. I echo Dominik's comments here.

      My concern when trying to do this online is that I am notably a lot slower especially when doing DII. It took me much longer to complete DII 2016 mainly because I had to write everything on my timeline rather than highlighting parts of the text (as before on paper).

      I also found it difficult to go back to part of the text e.g. when looking for inventive step reasoning in the relevant part of the assignment.

      I estimate that it took me 3 hours and 30 minutes - 40 minutes for a 60 mark part. I seriously feel that they will need to reduce the content in part II if most candidates are to finish DII in time.

      1. It's the same for me when trying DII, I am definitely much slower using the lockflow browser and I think its because of the constant switching between tabs and writing more on timelines as Neo said.

      2. Thanks for the kind words.

        Officially, there are fewer marks for DII on 2021 - I am assuming that it will also be a little shorter, or less dense information.
        But I agree it is generally slower. Certainly if you are trying to find things back in the paper.
        As a general principle, they should have given more time anyway for the analog to digital shift - I am still struggling with A and B.

        It is a mystery why they do not allow the highlighting in the tabs - I understand for the preview window that it may be technically not possible. But the assignment tabs are just a standard PDF viewer.

      3. Hi Pete - I find paper B a total nightmare to deal with. Trying to re-write the whole claim set rather than amending the client's amended claims or claims as filed increases the time dramatically. Mistakes will easily creep in. When you copy claims from the amended claims from the client, it loses all the formatting and underlining (and deleted features of the claim) so it is very easy to make mistakes. I haven't found an easy way to adapt to the new changes for Paper B.

        Worse, there is no way of indicating strikethrough when you want to delete a feature.

        It is similar with Paper C because coping claims over when you do an attack does not keep the right formatting.

        Sorry to be so negative but I am not finding a good way to adapt to the new changes. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

      4. I am struggling with B as well - they should at least make it consistent with C and allow you all but a few pages to print. Flipping back and forward between tabs is making it almost impossible.
        And you are 100 percent right about copying parts of the exam into your answer to work on them - I am trying to avoid it where possible. Selecting text is almost impossible to do quickly, and you waste time reformatting it. And it is easy to make a mistake and miss something important, or delete a part by accident.
        I saw a comment on another blog that you do not "need" to provide the claims, but that must be someone who has never actually answered an office action. You cannot give the EPO instructions to amend except for very minor amendments. They will not accept that for claims. GL H-III, 2.2: "Amendments should preferably be identified using functions available in a text editor to clearly indicate deletions and insertions in the amended text.
        Pages with such indications should be submitted in addition to clean copies. Alternatively, handwritten form is appropriate to fulfil the requirements of Rule 137(4), provided that clean copies are free from
        handwritten amendments."
        I will try and finish my post about A, B and C today or tomorrow.
        My conclusion is that C should be okay because they typically only have a few short claims.
        A is a lot more difficult because there is no way to track what I have used, it is difficult to prepare any templates beforehand to help organise because the papers vary so much and the letter from the client is meant to be chaotic (just as in real-life). But you can copy claim language into your answer when you see it. Fortunately, with A, that is most of the points. The problem I find is that it is difficult to go back if you change your mind about something.
        I simply cannot do B in the time given - it is too much flipping about and there are too many tabs. I cannot remember enough of the paper to do much from memory.

      5. I am with you Pete. I find Paper B so difficult online. My inventive step arguments got all muddled up as I got myself confused between the different tabs of client letter, office action, client amended claims, spec as filed.

        They need to sort it out as there is not a chance for me to finish on time with the current online process.

    3. Candidates this year has been adversely affected compared to other years mainly due to the coronavirus. There is huge burden on family lives with schools closing and it will have an effect on work life/revision. In addition, the huge changes of the EQE exams to shift from paper to online in little time has a big impact. There is no doubt in my mind that the uncertainty and additional burden will have an impact on candidates this year.

      Will the EPO account for these unique times.

      1. There are some comments over in the Delta patents blog. Many candidates will not be able to spend 4 days in Feb to try the mock. I do hope the EPO will consider the many factors candidates are facing at the moment with stricter lockdown measures and it is becoming increasingly difficult to have an effective preparation for the exams.

        Some suggest that the EPO should open the mock 2 for longer to provide more flexibility or at least make the question and answers available afterwards so candidates who cannot take the mock 2 be able to see the format.

        There is no doubt that this year candidates are having a really difficult time. I do hope the EPO and tutors recognize this.

      2. I hope so to - I cannot take a week off to try it. If it is real exam conditions, you also cannot just log in for a couple of hours.
        They should offer a "close to exam conditions" period.

    4. Hi Pete,

      I have tried C in the lockdown browser. I can tell that it is a nightmare, scrolling the documents, look at the claims on the screens, then typing your answer instead of taking advantages of what you have already written in your sheet of papers. With the CEIPI method for example, we cut and paste the paper sheet etc.
      I would need 1 hour more time to complete my paper C.
      Did you had the chance to try it too. I can't even imagine how much more time it is needed for papers A et B, where the client letter is NOT printable and which is actually the "patent application".

      Kind regards,

    5. Hi Pete,

      Just to say thank you for testing these and for all the EQE resources you provide. They are really helpful! Thanks!

    6. Thank for the info. Quick question - are the Mock 1 papers just previous past papers or are they new questions?

      1. They are old papers: PE2019, A2019, B2019, C2014, D2006.

      2. Hi Pete,
        It is D2016 not D2006.
        Kind regards,