Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Calendars for the 2017 Pre-examination available

The Calendars for the 2017 Pre-examination are available on the EQE website.

The Calendars for the 2017 Pre-examination show the calendars of 2016 and 2017 in the same format as the 2015 and 2016 exams: the months in blocks in the top half with the weekend days shown in grey, and the further closure dates for each of the three EPO filing offices on the lower half of the page. The closure dates are the "standard" national or local holidays - no bridging days are included.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Requirement to register start of professional activities

For sitting the main exam, it is required that a candidate:


(a) satisfies the Secretariat that at the date of the examination (or rather, 1 March) the candidate has:
      (i) completed a full-time training period of at least three years in one of the contracting states to the European Patent Convention (hereinafter "the EPC") under the supervision of one or more persons European patent attorneys (for exact formulation, see Art.11(2)(a)(i) REE), or
      (ii) worked full-time for a period of at least three years in the employment of a natural or legal person in an EPC contracting state and have represented their employer before the EPO in accordance with Article 133(3) EPC (Art.11(2)(a)(ii) REE)), or
(b) performed full-time the duties of an examiner at the EPO for at least four years (Art.11(2)(b) REE).
For the pre-exam,  these periods are reduced by one year. 
On 1 April 2016, a revised version of Rule 28 IPREE entered into force, which requires candidates intending to enrol for the European qualifying examination for the first time to register once they have commenced their professional activities or employment.
The registration has to be done within 2 month after having commenced professional activities or employment. However, a transitional provision applies that the registration can be performed at any time during a transitional period that runs at least until 1 April 2017. 
Candidates enrolling for the EQE for the first time in 2017 do not need prior registration
Candidates enrolling for the EQE for the first time in 2018 or later are advised to register before the end of the transitional period, as otherwise only 2 months of the training period before registration will be taken into account.
The full text of the decision is given below:
Decision of the Supervisory Board 

The Supervisory Board,

Having regard to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives (REE) which entered into force on 1 January 2009 (Supplementary publication 2, OJ EPO 2014), in particular Article 3, paragraph 7, thereof, has decided as follows:

Article 1
Rule 28 of the Implementing provision to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives shall be replaced by the following text:

(1) In accordance with Article 11(1) REE, candidates intending to enrol for the European qualifying examination for the first time shall register once they have commenced their professional activities or employment as defined in Article 11(2) REE.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 7 and subject to paragraph 4, the fee for registration for candidates already registered with the Institute as an “epi student” shall amount to 50% of the basic fee.

(3) For the purposes of Article 11(2) REE, only such periods of professional activity shall be taken into account as have been accumulated after registration pursuant to paragraph 1 above. The maximum period of previous professional activity as defined in Article 11(2) REE which can be taken into account is limited to two months on condition that such period occurred immediately before registration. 

(4) During a transitional period of at least one year from the entry into force of this rule, the registration can be requested at any time. Candidates may request any previous period of professional activity as defined in Article 11(2) REE to be taken into account without the limitation specified under paragraph 3. Registration is free of charge during the transitional period. The transitional period may be extended by decision of the Supervisory Board. For candidates enrolling for the 2017 European qualifying examination, no prior registration is necessary.

Article 2 
This decision shall enter into force on 1 April 2016.

Done at Munich, 23 March 2016
For the Supervisory Board
The Chairman
Chris Mercer

----------
Added 4 January 2017:

A further Notice was published in OJ 2016, A108: "Notice of the Examination Secretariat of the European qualifying examination - Registration pursuant to Rule 28 of the Implementing provisions to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination"

The Notice provides many details as the the registration requirements and procedure.

The Notice indicates that the transitional period has NOT been extended by the Supervisory Board, as the Notice says: "During the transitional period until 31 March 2017 candidates may request any previous period of professional activity as defined in Article 11(2) REE to be taken into account without any limitation as to time."


Thursday, 17 March 2016

Pre-Exam 2016: results

The Pre-Exam 2016 answers and results were published ion the EPO EQE website earlier this evening.

The answers match the answers given in our earlier blogs for the legal part as well as for the claims analysis part:

1:  F T T T
2:  F F F F
3:  F F T T
4:  T T F T
5:  T T F F
6:  T T F F  
7:  T F F T
8:  T T F F
9:  T F T T
10: T F T T

11:  F T T F
12:  T F T F
13:  T T T F
14:  F F F T
15:  F F T F
16:  F F F T
17:  T F F F
18:  F T F T
19:  T F F F
20:  T F F T

792 candidates enrolled for the pre-exam, 763 candidates sat the exam (29 0-scores).

169 candidates scored between 1 and 69 marks and failed: 22% of all sitters, 25% of all who enrolled.
594 candidates scored between 70 and 100 marks and passed: 78% of all sitters, 75% of all who enrolled.

No candidate scored 100 marks, 4 scored 98, 15 scored 96, 144 (19%) scored 90 or higher.

137 out of 220 candidates that failed in 2015 have been resitting this year: 68 passed and 69 failed again.
32 candidates that failed in 2014 have been resitting this year: 12 passed and 20 failed again.
1 candidate that failed in 2013 (and 2015) has been resitting this year, and failed again.

The score distribution (5 marks bin width, labelled by their upper values) for all candidates is:


The score distribution for the 2015-resitters is:



The 2016 score of the 137 2015-resitters compares to their 2015 score as follows:






Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Pre-Exam 2016: our (provisional) answers to the claims analysis part


Before checking your own answers with the provisional answers given below, please first check out on the blog post  First impressions of Pre-Exam 2016? for general questions and general comments about the Pre-Exam 2016 (English, French and German), and post your first impressions there. The Legal part is discussed in a separate blog post.

Our preliminary answers to the claims analysis part (not thoroughly reviewed, subject to typo's) are:

Q11  F, T, T, F
Q12  T, F, T, F
Q13  T, T, T, F
Q14  F, F, F, T
Q15  F, F, T(*), F
Q16  F, F, F, T
Q17  T, F, F, F
Q18  F, T, F, T(**)
Q19  T, F, F, F
Q20  T, F, F, T

Any different opinions are welcome! Please post your opinions as comments to this blog, so everybody can from the discussion.  Comments are welcome in any official EPO language. So, comments in German and French are also very welcome!

(** Update: although we remain divided on 18.4 we now lean towards 'True'  in view of the comments, so we have switched our answers in our 'preliminary answers')

Nico, Roel.

See onwards for our short comment on each answer.

Pre-Exam 2016: our (provisional) answers to the legal part


Before checking your own answers with the provisional answers given below, please first check out on the blog post First impressions of Pre-Exam 2016? for general questions and general comments about the Pre-Exam 2016 (English, French and German), and post your first impressions there. The Claims Analysis part is discussed in a separate blog post.

Our provisional answers are:


1:  F T T T
2:  F F F F
3:  F F T T  *
4:  T T F T  **
5:  T T F F  ***
6:  T T F F  ****
7:  T F F T
8:  T T F F
9:  T F T T
10: T F T T

*: 21/12/15 + 10d [R.126(2)] -> 31/12/15; 31/12/15 +2m [R.131(4)] -> 29/2/16 (Mon); 31/12/15 + 4m -> 30/4/16 (Sat) [R.134(1)]->2/5/16; earliest possible R.112(1) comm: 3/5/15 + 10d + 2m -> 13/7/16
**: all answers from GL A-III, 5.6.
*** 5.4: no separate PoA needed if applicant signed the request and representative is appointed therein - R.90.4(a) PCT, AG-IP 11.007; further, if a separate PoA is used, it is not necessary that the representative files it as the applicant can file the PoA himself. 
****: rights conferred were not yet tested in the Pre-Exams so far - they are a major element of the D-paper, where candidates lose many marks if they wrongly state that a patent gives the proprietor freedom to operate.

Any different opinions are welcome! Please post your opinions as comments to this blog, so everybody can from the discussion.  Comments are welcome in any official EPO language. So, comments in German and French are also very welcome!


Please do not post your comments anonymously - it is allowed, but it makes responding more difficult and rather clumsy ("Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous of 29-02-2016 23:57"), whereas using your real name or a pseudonym is more personal, more interesting and makes a more attractive conversation.

Roel & Pete

Monday, 29 February 2016

Pre-Exam 2016: First impressions?


To all who sat the Pre-Exam today:

What are your first impressions to this year's Pre-Exam? Any general or specific comments?

Were the legal topics well balanced?
Were the various aspects of claims analysis well balanced?
Was the balance between EPC and PCT right for you?
Which of the legal questions did you consider particularly difficult, and which relatively 'easy'?
How much time did you allocate for the legal questions, how much for the claims analysis part? Did you deviate from our original plan (for example, took more time for the legal questions than planned)?
Which part did you do first, the legal part or the claims analysis?
How many marks do you expect to have scored in the legal part, in the claims analysis, and for the whole
What is your expectation of the pass rate and the average score?
 paper?
How did this year's paper compare to the earlier pre-exams of 2012-2015 (assuming your practiced those) w.r.t. the pre-exam as a whole, w.r.t. the legal part and w.r.t. the claims analysis part?

The paper and our answers

Copies of the paper will be provided on this blog as soon as we have received copies of the papers, in all three languages here (English, French and German).

The core of our answers will be given as soon as possible in two separate blog posts:one for the legal questions and the another post for the claims analysis part.

We look forward to your comments!

Comments are welcome in any official EPO language, not just English. So, comments in German and French are also very welcome!

Please do not post your comments anonymously - it is allowed, but it makes responding more difficult and rather clumsy ("Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous of 13-13-2015 13:13"), whereas using your real name or a pseudonym is more personal, more interesting and makes a more attractive conversation. You do not need to log in or make an account - it is OK to just put your (nick) name at the end of your post.

Please post your comments as to first impressions and general remarks to the Pre-Exam paper as a whole, and to the two parts (legal part and claims analysis) as whole parts to this blog.
Please post substantial questions to specific legal questions to our post with our answers (available here) and claims analysis related questions to our post for that part (available here). Thanks!

Roel, Nico, Pete, Jelle, Gregory; 29/2/2016

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Alphabetical keyword index to Guidelines 2015 - pdf available

The EPO has made a pdf-file available with an alphabetical keyword index to the Guidelines for Examination November 2015 - the relevant version for EQE 2016.


Monday, 25 January 2016

EQE Calendars for Pre-Exam 2016 available on EQE website

The EQE Calendars for EQE2016 have been made available on the EQE website: Calendars for the 2016 pre-examination

The calendars are in the same format as in the EQE of 2015.

Note that the calendars have no bridging days.