Thursday, 10 December 2020

FAQ on e-EQE extended with new information (examination platform, system, planning of mocks, proctoring)

The FAQ on the e-EQE (see here) has been updated with new information as to the examination platform and system requirements, as well as test possibilities (a first mock is planned before the end of the year; a second mock in January). 

Also, proctoring is addressed (combination of recording, AI, human invigilation) as is the required hardware (webcam, microphone, speaker).

The FAQ thus clarifies various aspects that were extensively commented on in responses to the earlier blog post on the earlier FAQ and the earlier blog post on the Information on the schedule. 

The following updates are given in the FAQ - only the added elements are cited below (status 10 December 16:14; somewhat re-formatted and emphasis added; click on Read more). For the complete original FAQ, please refer to the EQE webpages

Updated 12/2020 - What examination platform will be used for the e-EQE?

For the e-EQE, the examination platform WISEFlow (europe.wiseflow.net) with a LockDown browser will be used.

Updated 12/2020 - Will there be proctoring during the examination?

Yes, there will be proctoring based on image and audio recording, monitoring candidates using artificial intelligence, complemented by human invigilation.

Updated 12/2020 - Will I be able to test the system?

Yes, it is planned to offer two mock examinationsthe first one before the end of the yearYou will be informed by email once the examination platform is available

The first mock examination (Mock 1) is intended for candidates to test their equipment and get acquainted with the examination environment
It will be open for a longer period (several weeks), so that all candidates can use it without time pressure. There will be no proctoring during this first mock examination. 

It is planned to have a second mock examination (Mock 2) under simulated examination conditions in January 2021.
More information will follow regarding the second mock examination.

Updated 12/2020 - What are the system requirements?

Any of the following browsers can be used: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.
However,
Firefox or Chrome are recommended for better interface experience and faster response.

Candidates should make sure that their email client and server are properly configured to receive messages from noreply@wiseflow.net.

Besides the prerequisites of a standard computer system the following hardware is required:

  • webcam,
  • microphone and
  • speakers.

In particular, the system requirements for the LockDown browser are:

  • i) Operating Systems: Windows: 10, 8, 7; Mac: OS X 10.10 to 10.15;
  • ii) Memory:
            75 MB permanent space on the hard drive for Windows;
          120 MB permanent space on the hard drive for Mac;
  • iii)  A stable broadband internet connection.

The LockDown browser is a client application that is installed locally on the computer. 

To install and launch the LockDown browser, candidates will need system administrator rights on the computer.

Updated 12/2020 - What screen size is recommended?

The screen should not be too small. In the mock exams, candidates should test which screen size best suits them. However, only one screen is allowed by the LockDown browser. 

Candidates using an external monitor attached to a laptop should make sure, that the built-in laptop screen is switched off, or is disabled

In the case of a built-in laptop camera, they should also pay attention to the correct camera configuration, as the active camera should also be placed close to the external monitor

More information on the technical configuration will follow later as well as dedicated FAQ on the camera.

Updated 12/2020 - How much time will be allowed for each paper?

The time allowed for each paper has been decided. Please see the Information on the schedule for the EQE 2021 examination papers.




36 comments:

  1. EPO event: The 2021 e-EQE: https://www.epo.org/learning/training/details.html?eventid=13948

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    1. Thx for drawing our attention to that event - 14 January 2021, 14:00-16:00

      The page (https://www.epo.org/learning/training/details.html?eventid=13948) provides:

      "The 2021 e-EQE

      Organized by: EPO and epi
      Working language: English

      ** Description
      The European qualifying examination (EQE) 2021 will be conducted online. The EPO, jointly with the European Patent Institute (epi), will present the major changes to be expected for both candidates sitting the Examination in March 2021 and for their tutors and coaches, helping them prepare in the best possible way for the EQE.

      The meeting will be articulated in two sessions: the first session is open to all and intended to present the new set-up and to address general questions relating to the e-EQE relevant in particular for candidates; the second session instead is accessible by EQE tutors only as matters relating to didactics will be addressed.

      The web seminar features a number of experts both of the EPO and of the epi who will first introduce the cornerstones of the 2021 e-EQE and then hold a panel discussion for answering questions from participants. Due to the high expected attendance, participants are asked to provide their questions in advance when registering online for the meeting.

      ** Content
      - Cornerstones of the 2021 e-EQE
      - Panel discussions: tips for EQE candidates sitting the 2021 e-EQE
      - Changes expected for tutors with the e-EQE (for tutors only)
      - Questions and answers session (for tutors only)

      **Technical requirements
      To attend this online event participants need a computer with a browser and a high speed internet connection. The EPO uses Cisco WebEx.

      The session will be recorded and uploaded on the main EQE page later on.

      Max. number of participants: 1000

      Reference: PM01-2021

      Registration deadline: 11.01.2021"

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    2. Note that: "The session will be recorded and uploaded on the main EQE page later on."

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    3. Thanks!

      But I will need to see the recording, because the webpage says:

      'Notice

      The first session is fully booked, but will be recorded and uploaded on the main EQE page afterwards (link below). Registration is still possible for the second session for EQE tutors only.'

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  2. So, will the EPO provide us with webcams? Not seeing purchasing one myself just for this madness

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    1. Do they also nee to buy you a computer and a screen? Are you from the stone age Pierre?

      BigB

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    2. No, I just don't have a webcam for the desktop computer I want to use for the exam. Is that so absurd to you?

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    3. I am disappointed that they have not indicated anything about the webcam - if the specs are complicated, it may be hard to get hold of them when everybody is working from home again.

      I don't think the EPO will provide anything - more likely, they will let you test your internet speed, camera, microphone etc in their test system.

      Using your phone would be a good option from a quality point of view, but the EQE does not allow electronic devices, so they would need to disable all other functionality. They could allow you to use it to setup a biometric profile - in principle, you can then use a lower quality camera during monitoring.

      Specs may include: resolution, speed, low light sensitivity, angle, possibly zoom in/out, able to be moved around before the exam and positioned in front of you during the exam. One online exam requires a continuous view of the face, hands, keyboard and an area around the keyboard. Others just monitor the face.

      If you want to order one now, if you were to pick one that fits on top of your screen, with a tripod mount and good microphone, and can be used for the EPO oral proceedings (HD 720p or above), there is a good chance it will be acceptable. The cost would be typically EUR 40 - 60.
      Surely most offices with European patent attorneys have been ordering these as it is now required for the EPO and for home workers?

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    4. My working hypothesis is that the camera of my laptop will do.

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    5. “User Guide Mock 1 (Wiseflow Guide)” 4.4 shows that you can use the camera and microphine of your laptop, provided that you satisfy the indicated requirements for camera placement:

      "4.4. Hardware set‐up
      See 3.2.8 above for the computer screen requirements. For flows with image‐based invigilation, backlighting must be avoided, i.e. you should ensure that there is no bright lightsource behind you, pointing against the webcam. The camera must be placed centred above or below, and not more than 5 cm away from the frame of the screen on which the examination paper is displayed. It should be set up to provide a frontal portrait image of you. The background behind you should not contain any picture of a person whose face would show up on screen at the same size as your own face."

      http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponot.nsf/0/4015F7186A625BCDC1258641004C73AB/$FILE/user_guide_WISEflow_mock1_17122020.pdf

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  3. A mock before the end of the year? Are they going to hold it during the holiday? But they have not even made it clear where exactly you can sit the exam!

    At the moment the FAQ states that you can sit the exam at home or in the office, but also says more details will come available soon. It also says that no-one else may be present when you take the exam.

    I have nowhere at home without large windows, my office has rooms mostly with glass walls/large windows with few totally enclosed rooms. Is this acceptable to them or not? The PEB exams were held at the office in a large meeting room under invigilation (I didn't sit them but apparently it went well) but this would apparently not be acceptable to the EPO?

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    1. He Grundy, where does it say that you cannot have large windows or that we need to sit it in a cave without windows? Why do not send a picture of the rooms that are available for you to the EQE secretariat and ask for approval?

      You could consider to google for a minute or so and you can find billions of solutions. Problem easily solved. Plenty of non-inventive solutions.

      For example:

      https://www.regus.com/en-us/united-kingdom/london

      "Office Space in London.

      157LOCATIONS/1 DESK TO 100+/FLEXIBLE TERMS

      Make a home for your business with a Regus private office. Our fully equipped workspaces have everything taken care of – from the furniture to the high-speed WiFi – so you can focus on driving your business forward."

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    2. Internal glass walls will likely not be allowed - someone can walk past and pass you messages. If they are behind you, they can read the secret part of the exam. Windows to the outside are probably fine, unless you are on the ground floor.
      The main difference with the UK exam is that the EQE does not allow a physical on-site invigilator.
      If you are in a hotel or external workspace, you need to indicate on the door that you are not to be disturbed and inform them. For example, if housekeeping or catering comes into the room, they may fail you.

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  4. Looking forward to the mocks! And glad to hear that the examination platform will thus also be available in December already and not only by January!

    Unfortunately no information about the December Mock yet: will there be 5, one for every paper (Pre-Examination, papers A, B, C and D)? Will it be an old paper adapted for the platform or a new paper? Can we access the paper multiple times?

    Thanks, JJ

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    1. new paper is nice-to-have

      but old paper will do fine.

      i want to use the mocks to get familiar with the platform and find out the possibilities of the pdf viewer (multiple windows? annotation?) and the editor (multiple windows? formatting functions), how it all fits on my screen, and whether it works well with my own keyboard, mouse, camera and printer. no new paper needed for that.

      hope we can access the mocks not just one time but all the way until the exam

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    2. I agree, getting familiar with the platform has higher priority than a new paper (the papers will have the same character as before, such that old papers can be used if split in a similar way as for e-EQE 2021).
      Especially knowing whether annotation is possible, whether multiple parts of the paper can be accessed without scrolling (multiple tabs to the same pdf), and likewise whether multiple parts of your answer file can be accessed in the editor (multiple tabs to the answer file), and practicing with that functionality would be one of my main points of attention.
      In paper D, I would continue to do my tools on paper (timeline on A3 paper; checklists in A4 paper), so that I can have them side-by-side during the whole part - as with a paper exam.

      Being able to access the mock multiple time allows to compare different hardware setups (e.g., after you bought a larger screen).

      I also hope that tutors, mentors and coaches get access to the platform with the mocks, so that we can optimally support our candidates.

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  5. One question: Can I use the camera of my iPone for the proctoring?

    JJ

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  6. Another one: are there any limitations to the resolution of the external screen? Is there a recommended native resolution?

    Can it be as fancy as this: https://www.samsung.com/nl/business/business-monitors/curved-gaming-lc49hg90dmuxen/lc49hg90dmuxen/?

    JJ

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    1. this 49” 32:9 super ultra-wide screen is aa wide as 27'' 16:9 screens side-by-side. If the platform allows to see 3 pdf pages side-by-side together with two editor pages, I can do without a paper copy when using this single screen

      JJ

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    2. There can be problems with such big monitors. The software/driver has to split it up into separate virtual screens - LockDown browser may disable the software as it is unknown or detect "multiple monitors" and refuse to start.
      Disabling of software can also be a problem if you are using a video conferencing camera, for example.

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  7. They are leaving it so so late for candidates. Now, many will have to go out and buy all these equipment in the space of a week.

    Many will want to do it in the office but it will be difficult over the holidays as offices are closed or candidates travel home. The timing is NOT ideal to be honest and once again it has been left very late for candidates to pick up the pieces.

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  8. Is there any recommended size for the screen in order to be able to manage viewing of two documents correctly? I will definitively need to purchase a new one. Another cost....... Thanks!

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    1. The only relevant post I have seen was here: "I have a 27inch 16:9 1920x1080 display, which just about allows two readable A4 docs (with 11 points) or two windows to be displayed side by side. I would say that is the minimum as the ribbon controls tend to shrink the page (but these can usually be hidden if a little extra zoom is needed)"
      So 27 inch or larger. If you want to save money, look for a seller of old office equipment.

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    2. I have not yet decided. As Ned indicates, it will also depend on how much space is taken by the applications: do they have a large menu bar? does the proctoring take space? etc.

      I am using a 24" 16:9 (or is it 16:10?) monitor at home. Iyama at home. Dell or HP in the office. I like that size. Can have Adobe Acrobat with minimized menu and Word with minimized menu side-by-side, is then almost full screen. For now, I will assume this will do, but if the Mock exam learns me that I better buy a larger one, I will do. One can get really nice large monitors for 150 euro and less.

      A recommendation from the EQE committees would be appreciated!

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    3. I donot know yet what to advice as I donot yet know what the possibilities of the LockBrowser, the pdf and the editor are.

      If the pdf viewer only shows one page at a time (maybe multiple parts in different tabs that you can easily switch to but not have side-by-side) and the same for the editor, a 23-26" 16:9 external monitor would probably do well: you can then out the pdf page and the answer page side-by-side at more-or-less A4 size (portrait). I guess that quite some candidates use such screen size already at their daily work (at least I know many that do), as it allows a paperless office.

      If the pdf-viewer and/or editor allow to see multiple parts of the same paper/answer file at the same time, a wide monitor may be helpful - it the divers allow that.

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    4. The WiseFlow tutorial (http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponot.nsf/0/6E924A5197B46378C1258641004B70CD/$FILE/wiseflow_tutorial_2020_12_17.pdf) and user guide (http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponot.nsf/0/4015F7186A625BCDC1258641004C73AB/$FILE/user_guide_WISEflow_mock1_17122020.pdf) show:

      - For Mock 1, the flows will remain open until the end of February.

      - you can have pdf vieuwer as overlay window or as separate tab in the browser
      - if as overlay: you can resize and move window (pdf viewer vs editor) to convenient size and position

      - the pdf has a table of contents (in a navigation pane) for easy navigation
      - you can mark text in the document viewer tab

      - the browser has 1 editor tab
      - the text editor has headings & paragraph texts; boldface, italics, underline; bullets, numbering as well as tables

      - for pre-exam, you need to tick True or False next to each answer statement, part of the paper in the browser (below the question)
      - for pre-exam, no full editor, but notepad and sticky notes

      - If your internet connection fails during the examination, you could continue with the exam as though nothing has happened. If the computer can re‐establish the internet connection, the WISEflow connection will automatically be re‐established as well, and your answers will continue to be saved to the server as before.

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    5. Thanx for the info; now we'll have to study the uploaded guides.

      It's reassuring to know that if the internet connection fails during the examination, we could continue with the exam just as if nothing happened

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    6. Correction to my comment just above:

      “Tips ...” 2.2 says highlighting in the assignment is NOT possible.

      (I misinterpreted the "marking" comment in the “Wiseflow tutorial” on page 32; but that relates to selecting a part of the paper in the viewer for copying to the editor)

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    7. In the "Tips for candidates" (page 3), a screen size of 27" and 1440 lines is used.

      Monitors of 27", 2560 x 1440 resolution, are for sale for prices from about 220 euro and more.
      E.g., https://www.paradigit.nl/philips-272b8qjeb-00/20886903/product/3126 or https://www.paradigit.nl/iiyama-prolite-xub2792qsu-b1-27/20820170/product/3126.

      (http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponot.nsf/0/5D61E3D37B8A8223C125864100458DF9/$FILE/Tips4candidates_Mock%201_V01_Dec2020.pdf)

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  9. https://patentepi.org/en/:

    Tutors will also be allowed access to the e:EQE system

    The e-EQE platform will go online on 21 December 2020. Apart from candidates who are registered for the EQE in March, also tutors will be allowed access to the platform.

    If you are a tutor for the EQE and wish to have access to the e:EQE system, you have to register. What is required : first name, family name, email address. Those who request access will then be put in an Excel sheet which will be uploaded by the EPO in the e:EQE system.

    Please reply at the latest on Monday 21 December 2020, then you will probably get access before Xmas.

    Send your first name, family name, email address to cornelis.mulder@patentepi.org

    Cornelis Mulder
    Secretary General
    epi - European Patent Institute

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    Replies
    1. Please feel invited to share your experiences and give your comments on the e:EQE system to our new blog:

      http://eqe-deltapatents.blogspot.com/2020/12/e-eqe-platform-will-go-online-on-21.html

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  10. The fAQ was extended today with "Updated 12/2020 - How will paper C be structured and what do I have to take into account when answering it?"

    We opened a separate blog on the two-part structure of C:

    http://eqe-c.blogspot.com/2020/12/paper-c-split-in-two-parts-in-e-eqe-2021.html

    Please feel invited to contribute with your comments about the two-part structure of C there.

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  11. Where can I find the dedicated FAQ on the camera?
    (It is referred to in the item <>)

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    1. (in item Updated 12/2020 - What screen size is recommended?)

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  12. Tried mock 2, paper D today. Both me and my colleague got disqualified. In my case I typed ALT+TAB. The first time was after 10 minutes, and I received a warning. The second time was after 2 hours and I got kicked out. Whatever I tried, I could not get in again. So loosing 1 hour of the 3 hour D2 paper would have meant a fail for me.
    So TIP: try to de-activate the Alt-Tab.
    But I find it rather disconcerting that this is required. It is so easily forgotten. And what else may I forget to de-activate? How am I sure I am 'safe' next time? I must keep trust this will be solved by IT. Somehow.

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  13. This is an unofficial list from salted patent, but it at least gives some "other danger keys"

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