Friday, 6 October 2017

Cut-off date legal status / EQE syllabus changed from 31 December to 31 October

By Decision of the Supervisory Board amending Rules 2, 22 and 27 of the Implementing Provisions to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives, the cut-off date for the legal status / EQE syllabus changed from 31 December to 31 October, for the pre-exam and for the main exam papers.

The Decision changed the Rules relating to the syllabus to read:

Rule 2 - Examination syllabus
The examination syllabus referred to in Article 13 REE shall cover only those legal texts referred to in Article 13(1)(a) to (c) REE which are in force on 31 October of the year prior to the examination. The EPO case law referred to in Article 13(1)(d) REE shall be that covered in the latest edition of "Case Law of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office" (hereinafter "the Case Law Book"), the case law referred to in any case law special edition of the Official Journal published after the latest edition of the Case Law Book, and any case law published in the Official Journal on or before 31 October of the year prior to the examination.

Note that the first part of the first sentence means that amended Rule 27 and 28 EPC as currently in force are the relevant versions of these rules - the Guidelines of November 2016 are not up-to-date in respect to these Rules. Also, these Guidelines still refer to old RFees 11.

Note that the last part of the last sentence means that G 1/15, partial priority (pdf), is part of the exam syllabus for the coming exam (although it is unlikely that Exam Committees designed questions to test it, as they could not know when it would be published), as it was published in OJ Sep 2017 on 29 Sep 2017.

Rule 22(1) - General instructions for answering the papers 
"(1) Candidates are expected to be familiar with at least the following documents in the versions valid as at 31 October of the year prior to the preexamination or the examination:
(a) the EPC
(b) the Implementing Regulations to the EPC
(c) the Protocol on the Centralisation of the European Patent System and on its Introduction (Protocol on Centralisation)
(d) the Protocol on Jurisdiction and the Recognition of Decisions in respect of the Right to the Grant of a European Patent (Protocol on Recognition)
(e) the Rules relating to Fees
(f) the notice of the President of the EPO concerning the arrangements for deposit accounts [ADA & AAD]
(g) the PCT
(h) the Regulations under the PCT [latest change: July 2017]
(i) the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
(j) the list of contracting states to the EPC and of contracting states to the PCT
(k) the Ancillary Regulations to the EPC  [partially overruled by later OJ EPOs]
(l) the brochure entitled "National law relating to the EPC" [partially overruled by later OJ EPOs]
(m) the Guidelines for Examination in the EPO [partially overruled by Rule changes per July 2016 and later]
(n) the content of the Official Journal of the EPO [until and including the Oct edition 2017],
(o) the Guidelines for Search and Examination at the EPO as PCT Authority."

Our comments are given in between square brackets.
Note that the last item is new: the GL PCT/EPO were introduced in 2015, but did not make it to the EQE Syllabus earlier than with this decision.
Note that any parts of the documents (esp. Ancillary Regulations, GL EPO, GL PCT/EPO) may have been superseded by documents of higher ranka and which define the relevant legal situation at 31 October, e.g., Rule changes, G-decisions, Decisions of the President, Notices in the OJ EPO.

The Decision also introduced, in new Rule 27(3) IPREE a new "Examination Committee V [shall be] entrusted with the quality management of the papers. It shall advise the other Examination Committees in this respect. "

Friday, 30 June 2017

Results EQE main exam 2017 are out

The results are out and can be found here. Congratulations to all that passed one or more papers!

The statistics for all papers (percentages of actual sitters):


# sitters
no show

comp fail
pass + cf

comp fail
pass + cf


The Examiner's reports are not yet available (30 June, 11:49).

Update 6 July: the Examiners' Report are now also available (in English only so far). If you wish to comment on them or your answers, please post your comments on our blogs for the specific papers (and, for D, for the specific DI or DII parts).

Friday, 3 March 2017

No electronic devices in EQE hall

Last week, EQE 2017 candidates received the message below from the Examination Secreariat:

Dear candidate,

Owing to the experience of the last few years and in order to ensure a fair examination, you are kindly reminded of the following: 

Electronic devices are FORBIDDEN during the EQE

Mobile telephones as well as many other electronic devices are now an integral part of our daily lives. However, they cannot be part of the EQE and it is strictly prohibited to take electronic devices of any kind, be it mobile phones, cameras, digital watches, or clocks, even mechanical ones, into the examination hall (see Instructions to candidates concerning the conduct of the European qualifying examination, point 9(a), Supplementary publication OJ EPO 2/2017 p. 37). 

Candidates discovered in the examination hall with any telephones or other electronic devices (unless explicitly allowed by the Examination Secretariat) will be reported to the Examination Board. This might lead to the most serious consequences (see Rules 19 and 20 IPREE). 

It will nevertheless be possible to hand in electronic devices before the start of the examination. For this purpose, please bring along an A4 envelope labelled with your first name, surname and date of birth. No responsibility can however be assumed for any damages or loss. 

The Examination Secretariat is confident that you will respect the rules. We wish you every success for the coming European qualifying examination. 

Yours sincerely, 

Examination Secretariat

Thursday, 23 February 2017

EQE Regulations in OJ 2017, Suppl 2

The Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives (REE, IPREE, Instructions to the candidates, additional decisions) has been published in Official Journal Supplementary publication 2, 2017,

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Tutor's report EQE 2016 available in epi Information 4/2016

The Tutors' report on the EQE 2016 papers (pdf), by L. Ferreira (PT), A. Hards (DE), M. Mackett (BE), H. Marsman (NL), S. van Rijnswou (NL), and R. van Woudenberg (NL, editor), has been published in epi Information 4/2016. 

Each year in October, the European Patent Academy and the epi arrange a meeting between EQE tutors and the Examination Committees. The goals are to discuss last year's papers, to improve future EQE's by openly exchanging ideas and to help tutors prepare candidates for next year's exam.

The Examination Board has kindly given the tutors permission to publish their own report of the important points so that candidates can more easily find this information. In addition, the comments can greatly assist when reading and interpreting the official EQE Compendium.

This year's meeting was held in Munich on October 21. The participant list showed 84 registered tutors, 20 registered Committee and Board members, and 8 further registered EPO and epi members (Academy, EQE secretariat, epi).

This Tutors' Report appears each year in the end of year edition of epi Information. It contains the following sections:
1. Overview of the passing rates in 20162. General remarks
3. A - E/M4. B - E/M
5. A - CH6. B - CH
7. C8. D
9. Pre-Exam10. The combined AB Papers (EQE 2017)
The Report can be read online via this link, epi Information 4/2016 is also available as pdf.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Half an hour more for the main exam papers as of 2017

The Supervisory Board decided to grant an additional thirty minutes per main exam paper to the durations stipulated in Rules 23(1), 24(1), 25(1) and 26(1) of the Implementingprovisions to the Regulation onthe European qualifying examination, starting from EQE 2017.
The time available for the main exam papers thus becomes:
A: 4 hours instead of 3.5;
B: 3.5 hours instead of 3;
C: 5.5 hours instead of 5;
D: 5.5 hours instead of 5.

The time for the Pre-Exam remains unchanged at 4 hours.

The time schedule for EQE 2017 (7 March - 9 March 2017) has been updated accordingly - the new schedule can be found here.
Note that the starting time for paper A has been moved to half an hour earlier: 9:00 instead of 9:30 Munich/ The Hague time!

The dates and timeschedule for EQE 2018 have also been published on the EQE website: Monday 26 February 2018 - Thursday 1 March 2018.

NB: the home page of the EQE webpages is not so easy to find when browing the EPO website: it is only accessible from the pull-down menu, but not from links on the webpages. It can be accessed directly via 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Is there yet a trend in the EQE results after the introduction of the pre-exam?

Joeri Beetz kindly provided the following overview:
We should be careful in basing conclusions on a small amount of data but arguably the full exam pass rate has not gone down after the pre-exam was introduced. In a few years time we may conclude that the pass rate has gone up by maybe 10%.  We'll see.