Wednesday, June 2, 2021

epi online conference - Modernising the EQE - 21 June

8 Jun 21: Forum link added. The epi recently published their discussion paper on proposed changes to the EQE from 2024. See separate post for my comments. It is also possible to post comments on epi -learning on-line forum (open to all).

On 21 June 1300-1600, epi is holding an online conference. We want a broad perspective from all EPC states, so please join and make your opinion heard. Non epi members are also invited to register and participate.

Conference on Modernising the EQE to better test “fitness-to-practise”


Starts: 21.06.2021   13.00hrs
Ends: 21.06.2021   16.00hrs


Online conference


Moving to a digital testing environment necessitates adaptation of the EQE but also presents an opportunity to review whether the EQE is testing the skills and knowledge required by the European patent attorney of today. The aim of the conference is to explore how to modernise the EQE to better test whether a candidate is ready to practise as an EPA and to help candidates develop the skills and knowledge needed to practise. During the conference, the following topics will be explored: 

  • the motivation for change 
  • the essential skills and knowledge of an EPA, 
  • modernising the structure and timeline of the examination, and 
  • any impact on national examinations and other national considerations. 

Target group

The conference is aimed at delegates who are involved in training EPAs, including training providers, tutors, mentors and employers as well as those who have an interest in maintaining a high standard of training, including professional organisations and patent offices.

Technical requirements

In order to attend the online conference participants need a computer with an internet browser and a high-speed broadband internet connection. For the conference, epi uses Zoom. Security settings on local Firewalls need to be checked. 

To access to the conference epi sends out a link shortly before the conference.


Please note that despite the conference participation being free of charge, the section on billing information in the registration form is mandatory. Unfortunately it is not possible for us to remove that section at the moment.

Working language



For further information, please contact Jacqueline  Kalbe:

Minimum number of participants

*If the minimum number of participants was not reached by the registration deadline, the seminar will be cancelled. In this case the epi will inform you immediately.

Registration deadline

Registration is open until 14.06.2021. The order of receipt by epi will determine the attendance in case of over-subscription.

(The links below may not work. Alternatively click on link at the bottom of the page or try this one).

 Registration epi member/student


  1. Its great that they are having a conference on this but it is primarily aimed at qualified attorneys. I think they should seriously consider listening to trainees who have to sit the exams and learn the materials.

    If exams are going to change, surely trainees should be invited too. That was one of the problems with wiseflow during the EQE2021 where candidates feedback were largely ignored especially after trialling the mocks.

  2. Does seem strange why trainees are not being actively invited to particpate since they are going to have to sit through the changes.

    1. Trainees can register as non-members. Trainees even can file some comments to epi if they have regarding epi:discussion paper

  3. Yes, I completely agree. The trainees are the ones who will benefit (or suffer) from these changes. Many have spent time thinking about what they want to do with the qualification. And having contact with other trainees gives a broader view.
    If you want to participate, please register. This may be the only opportunity to provide input.

  4. Great that the epi is organising a conference to discuss this, but as Anon June 2 already wrote, why are current trainees not explicitly addressed to contribute/participate? As the changes will be implemented earliest 2024 likely not a lot of the current trainees will even take the exams in the new format, so it does not make any sense not to ask current trainees for feedback/input. Surely, the current trainees would have a lot of input regarding the practicality of such exams given that a lot of them sat this year’s “successful” e-EQE.

    What is a bit of a concern though is that if all the focus is put on the new EQE format, what happens to the current one? As can be seen from your other post this month, there are a lot of things that need fixing if the current e-EQE format is really supposed to test “fitness-to practice” until the new format is implemented. What’s wrong with a simple online system that allows using a word document for typing and a pdf editor for viewing the exam papers? Did not seem to be a problem for the UK exams.

    That said, I think the modular approach is very good and also that exams are planned to be offered more than once a year. You can have a bad day or be sick or whatever on the exam day and fail the exam because of that and not because of not being prepared. Having to wait a full year before getting a new chance is not ideal and also puts a lot of pressure on the candidates. Also, I think it is great that the epi proposed to go back to technology specific exams, at least in the advanced papers. With the current format, I am wondering why there is still the requirement for a candidate to possess a scientific or technical qualification. Put differently, as per the EPO’s homepage the current papers A, B, and C are set in technical fields that are accessible to everyone. If that is true why not let people with a degree in languages or psychology or business enrol for the EQE? I really do not see that someone with a biology or chemistry background is more qualified to sit the papers compared to someone with e.g. a business degree. To test whether candidates are “fit-to-practice” the exams actually have to test the skills that are required for the job. If the exams are nor technology specific how can we ensure that candidates are really “fit-to-practice”? Therefore it is a welcome proposal that the advanced papers should again be subject specific.

    1. I am not sure that they deliberately excluded trainees. It is all a bit hard to find, and if you know about it, it is difficult to share, and you need too log in to follow the discussions.
      The epi really needs to find someone who knows how to use social media.

      But I agree - trainees are the closest to the fire.

      I heard informally that they are discussing possible updates, so that is why I posted. They should also have a lot of written complaints from candidates to help with setting priorities.

      The technical requirement has become pretty complex, with many degree courses barely satisfying the criteria. The old chemistry / electro-mechanics division had a lot of problems as well.

      It all becomes less critical to have a perfect exam
      coverage if you know that there will be life long learning after you pass. Compulsory continuous education should also be included.