Update 10 Feb 21: Ignacio Lobato Holtmann has created a Telegram group for fast exchange of eEQE questions, tips and info. He also proposes forming study groups for the next EQEs.
Updated 30 Jan21 in purple.Thanks to Thomas Kimpfbeck - he held his "How to cope with the new online EQE" webinar on 21 Jan 20. He was one of the early testers of the WISEflow system, and he makes interesting points. But he did work with an earlier version, so I think one or two technical details have changed. The recording is available here.
Below, the things I found interesting in Thomas' webinar and my comments in blue:
- Use Wordpad in windows as a simple editor to practice exams digitally.
- Learn to touch-type - quicker, less switching of attention, reduced neck strain
- Focus on content
- Agree. Marks are mostly given for answering the questions, coming to conclusions and showing how you applied the appropriate law to the correctly identified facts given in the exam.
- Notebook or laptop built-in screen is too small. Use an external monitor screen instead.
- No other computers (or monitor screens) on the desk.
- Use a scroll mouse as you will need to scroll through your answer
- After browser starts, cannot access or view windows task bar
- There will be an invigilator chat window
- Zendesk - separate username and password. Login in Lockdown Browser under External Resources
5. Lockdown Browser:
- Avoid browser bugs:
- don't select wrong language as you may have to start exam again!
- max. 10 tabs to avoid crashing browser
- Use scroll wheel on mouse instead of clicking on scroll bars
- Use keyboard shortcuts instead of menus
- No shortcut for jumping between tabs
- Available CTRL-A, B, C, F, I, U, V, X, Y, Z
- CTRL-SHIFT-V pastes without formatting is also available
- Use smaller fonts e.g. 8 pt and Headings 3, 4 in your answer to reduce scrolling
- Use CTRL ↑ and ↓ to jump between paragraphs. CTRL ← and → to jump between words.
- HOME and END keys jump to top or bottom of answer
- It is possible to go back to an old version in Revisions tab
- Try CTRL-Z first. This should only be for disasters, like realising that you deleted half your answer 5 minutes ago.
- CTRL-F does not work in exam tabs
- From Mock1, it looks like this does work, but not so well for all exams. Wait for Mock2 to see if anything is improved.
- Use Table of Contents generated with headers to navigate through your long answer
- I mentioned in the chat that my entries could not be clicked. Thomas did not have that problem - it worked on his computer.
- Can use table function to compare text side by side
- I would not use this. You will waste a lot of time working on this.
- Also, they do not want to see tables as part of your answer as it is not always clear to the marker what you are trying to show. Better to write short arguments and conclusions.
- EPO website accessible via external resources
- EPO Legal Texts be available under external resources.
- Note: Pdf versions could not be opened in Mock1. There is an Advanced Search for html versions, but unclear if this will be available. Test it during Mock2.
- You can highlight and format in your answer to help you navigate in your own answer
- Don't waste time just formatting your answer to make it look good. It is the content that gets marks, and the marker understanding the context of each statement correctly.
- Open exam in an extra tab and use copy / paste extensively. Use a digital "Scrap sheet" in your answer instead of scrap paper.
- Try this out. You only have one answer window, so everything you add increases your scrolling. Recommended is to use long lines of text, not short ones.
- Some things are better on paper, eg overviews and A3 tables. But this is a stepping stone to your typed-in answer - there are no marks for anything on paper.
- Do it for anything that you may need in your answer as a statement or to support an argument. In Paper A, do it for the claim language, for example. The more exams you practice, the better you become at this - for example, technical effects relating to features.
- You can re-use the info in the digital scrap sheet, and delete it if you don't need it
- If you have a header "Initial Analysis" and copy the notes after that, you can just leave it in when you hand it in. The marker reads your answer from start to finish, so I recommend putting initial thoughts at the beginning rather than the end. But you have to decide what you feel comfortable with.
- Everything you need is in the exam, but you need to structure the chaos. On paper, often done with highlighters. Now collect the same type of info (same categories) together in your digital scrap sheets. Note the source paragraph nr.
- Don't waste too much time in organising and sorting information. When you read the exam, you will not understand the context of everything. So you can waste a lot of time deciding which category it might be in and noting all the paragraph numbers.
- I only got up to exam speed when I stopped analysing the words and phrases so heavily on the first reading - go back to unclear or uncertain parts later when you understand the exam better. Stay away from side issues, where the outcome will not be relevant to the main part of your answer.
- It takes time to switch between tabs, so it may not be efficient to copy large portions of text - better to abbreviate or summarise what you found.
- Copy portions of exam to your answer and use the highlighting functions
- Don't waste too much time making it look nice. Categorising all the facts may get some minor marks, but you will not finish.
- Be careful copying large sections and working with them as if they are the complete exam. It is easy to accidentally delete something or only copy in part of what you thought you were copying.
- Have a To DO list
- on paper or digitally
7. Paper C
- Proposes to use "cover sheet" method. When you read each prior art document, immediately try to use info in a novelty attack. If it does not work, then you know it is for inventive step. This works better digitally than previously on paper.
- Also called CEIPI or Chandler Meinders method. Works well on exams with a lot of novelty attacks, but can confuse you when combining for inventive step.
- This is a bottom up method - you work with the pieces and at the end, you have the overview. Other methodologies work top down, where you get an overview first, and then complete the pieces.
- Neither is perfect - bottom up can eat up your time. Top down is usually quicker, but you can easily miss something or label something wrongly.
- The end point is the same (you need to generate enough to be mark within the time available) but try and find a combination of the two techniques. After doing practice exams, be critical of your performance.
8. My conclusions
- Yes, it makes sense to copy as much as possible into your answer. But not everyone can work like this, especially with one answer window. If you get lost in the exam, it will not help.
- In my previous posts, I relied quite a lot on paper. Use the copy/paste where possible as this is available and will be faster than making notes on paper. You want to put the things in you will most likely need in your answer. For example, in "Initial Analysis"
- Paper A: Features and associated technical effects, definitions. Also will have a separate section to collect claim language and phrases for "device/system/product", "method/process", "use".
- Paper B: "Other objections" by examiner, such as clarity, too many independent claims etc. Also will have separate section with "claims as filed" and "claims as amended" - here useful to apply some highlighting.
- Paper C: From patent, definitions and technical/effect feature combinations for granted claims. Also will have separate section for "claims as granted"- here useful to apply some highlighting
- Paper D2: For each patent/application: priority claims, what is described, what is claimed, what is not described, what is not claimed. For a potential public disclosure: facts relating to technical disclosure and availability to the public. Also, for each party, products & services being exploited in each territory.
- Use headers in your answer - this gives context to the pieces you use.
- Find the balance. No golden methodology exists that works for everybody or even works on all exams. You have to find the right balance for you and be flexible.
- You don't lose marks for incorrect statements (only time). It is better to be wrong quickly, than to waste time trying to fix it. Exams have safeguards built-in to allow anyone making an excusable error to still score well.
- Concentrate on the parts that give the most marks - look in last years examiners report or candidates solutions for the typical marks per section.
- After doing practice exams, be critical of your performance - not just the marks, but also the time. If you run out of time, you will have to take more risks. Did you spend a lot of time on side issues or making your answer perfect? If you make a lot of critical mistakes by going too fast or being chaotic, you have to build in more checks or even double-checks.