Monday, 11 May 2015

Looking back at Pre-Exam 2015 after some successful appeals

Last Thursday, "Appeal success" posted as comment to our blog Examiner's Report and Results Pre-Exam 2015: "It seems that appeals based on 15.2 and 17.3 have been successful and reversed by the Examination Board themselves without the need for the intervention of the [Disciplinary] Board of Appeal - an Appellant at our firm received a letter today and it looked like a standard letter."

Anonymous, Jessica and Onur confirmed to have received the same good news: Jessica shared the content of the letter with the blog readers:

"The Examination Board has considered your appeal well founded and has decided to rectify its decision. Your answers to statements 15.2 and 17.3 are justifiable and an evaluation of your work on this basis would lead to your passing the pre-examination 2015.

The decision communicated to you with letter of 27 March 2015 stating your having failed the pre-examination 2015 is therefore withdrawn by the examination board.

Your answer paper has been awarded the following marks: 70

Based on the marks above and pursuant to Rule 6(2) IPREE, the examination board has decided to award the grade PASS.

I also take this opportunity to indicate that application to the main examination (papers A, B, C, D) of the EQE 2016 will start on 14 July 2015.

Should you have already enrolled to the pre-examination 2016, your application will be deemed null and void and the fees paid will be reimbursed.

The appeal fees will be reimbursed as soon as possible."


An extensive discussion can be found on IPKats blog "A day late and a dollar short: EQE appeal outcome favours the brave". Both that blog post by IPKat itself as well as the comments posted doubt the suitability of the True-False or any other multiple choice format for the Pre-Exam. Also, IPKat does not understand how it is possible that the guinea pig tests and further quality systems were not able to prevent the problem to occur, while the day after the exam, the discussion on the DeltaPatents' blog showed that there was a real issue with the cardboard. 

IPKat indicated "that one part of the problem may be haste. The emphasis on getting results out quickly is fine until the integrity of the exam starts to suffer, and from the outside it looks as if the committee, Board or Secretariat could have done with being allowed a little more time with the announcement of this year's marks. The  Supervisory Board might need to look at the time given to get the results right." In this context, it may be worthwhile to recall that -on last year's meeting between the Committees and the tutors- the Pre-Exam Committee did not accept the offer of a group of tutors to review the answers before making them public and mefore the marking, as there was no room for interference of tutors (see epi information 4/2014, page 138 ff , 3rd bullet in right column on page 145).

Further, quite harsh comments were posted to the IPKat blog to the 2015 Pre-Exam, as now three (claims analysis) statements are qualified as not ambiguous (6 marks) and even more statements are subject to further appeals...  (some of them having a high chance of success, in my view, 5.2, 16.3, and 20.4). Last year it was one (legal) statement (10.4) where appeal was succesful -- and where the decision was reversed for all 15 candidates that  originally failed whereas only 5 of them appealed. 

Although I do not share all of the statements made there, it seems that the successful appeals, the blog posts, the comments and the unrest caused to several tens of candidates (probably  about half of the 59 candidates that scored 66-69 marks, see here) seems to call for some improvements.
It is not only a long period of unrest and uncertainly for candidates, but -with these uncertainties as to (un)ambiguities- it is also for us tutors difficult to defend the pre-exam's usefulness and fairness, and it is also not really our favourite act to defend  answers that deviate from the Examiner's Report answers and to hereby show that the Exam Committee was wrong...


Pre-Exam Course in Istanbul for EQE 2016 preparation

In co-operation with Patent Çare we offer our Basic Legal Course also in Istanbul this year.

The course is offered as an 8+2 day course in 2 blocks of 4+1 days. In the first 4 days of each block, the legal concepts of the EPC and PCT are introduced, discussed interactively and practiced with some basic questions. These 4 days are immediately followed by 1 day of review and practice, specifically for the Pre-Exam. Hereby, candidates get a rapid overview of legal concepts in the EPC and PCT, and also practice how to apply in Pre-Exam style questions.

The first 4+1-day block is scheduled on 27 - 31 August 2015, and addresses all EPC procedural topics of the Pre-Exam syllabus.
The second 
4+1-day block is scheduled on 18 - 23 December 2015, and addresses all EPC substantive patent law topics and all PCT topics of the Pre-Exam syllabus.

Please register online or use the form in the brochure on our website before 15 June 2015.