Tuesday, 20 April 2021

New dates for EQE 2022 - spread over 2 weeks and earlier than previously announced

 The dates for EQE 2022 have been published on the EQE website (Notices page), here (Notice of 19 April 2021).

The complete EQE does no longer take place in a single week (in 2011: Pre-Exam on Mon, D on Tue, A on Wed, B on Thu, C on Fri), but is spread over two weeks: the main exam papers on Tue and Thu, the Pre-Exam on Fri of the second week.

Compared to the earlier announcement of 15.11.2018 (wherein the EQE was planned from 21.03.2022 to 24.03.2022), the EQE 2022 starts two weeks earlier, with the D paper on 08.03.22. 

The Pre-Exam will take place after all main exam papers, rather than on the day before the main exam.

Although not yet officially communicated, it made be assumed that the exam will again be online in 2022 and will have papers of similar character as in 2021.


Note: the announcement of 15.11.2018 also already included dates for EQE 2023 (06.0.2023 - 09.03.2023); these will presumably also be changed.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

EQE goes digital - the official EPO news message

Yesterday, the EPO issues a news message on the website on the EQE. 

It was a major achievement to move from an EQE that is fully paper based -the exam papers as well as the material you can bring being only on paper, and a handwritten answer- with candidates sitting in about 8, some of them big, exam locations scattered around Europe - to an online e-EQE in a secured browser -the exam papers as pdfs and/or (in full or in part) onscreen, legal texts partially online, a typed answer in a basic editor, online invigilation-. 

But... the level of praise and the absence of reflection as to the growing pains and serious problems in the press release does not really feel justice to how candidates and tutors, as well as other stakeholders, have experienced the preparation phase and the exam itself. The message seems to have been drafted by a Public Relations department and it seems not to have been checked for the sensitivity of the issues that arose in the preparation of and during the exams, of the impact that such a message has on candidates, some of which feel that their voices and experiences have been ignored.

In particular, the press release downgrades the issue at D1-1 to "solved quickly within a few minutes". That does not really reflect the real situation where some candidates were affected for the whole of D1-1, at least, and where an additional 30 minutes was awarded but not received by all candidates (as a Flowlock browser refresh was needed to actually receive the 30 minutes), and where the break schedule was changed with a sever impact on the length of the lunch break (from planned 45 minutes to only 25)... I refer to our Good luck blog, our First impressions blog for many comments from candidates, as well as to our D1 blog.  Luckily, the Examination Board did react in a fast and appropriate way with a message on the e-EQE webpages, on the next day, with the guarantee that no candidate will be disadvantaged as a result during the marking process. , as is also indicated in the press release.

The Press Release is show below in full (no changes made):

EQE goes digital

8 March 2021

Nearly 4 000 candidates, 5 exams split over 11 flows, 130 exam pages in a choice of languages, 24 hours of examination in 5 days, 80 online invigilators, 400 people involved in preparations, a secured examination environment, and audio and image supervision: From 1 to 5 March, the EPO successfully held the inaugural e-EQE. For the first time ever, candidates sat the exam online at a place of their choice anywhere in the world.

Friday, 26 February 2021

Good luck to all EQE 2021 candidates!

We wish all candidates that sit one or more EQE papers next week good luck / bonne chance / gute Fahrt!

Our EQE blogs will be open for your comments and opinions w.r.t. the Pre-ExamABand shortly after the exams. We will post our (provisional) answers to the various papers shortly after the exam. To facilitate the discussions, we will also post copies of the papers as soon as possible after we received reasonably clean copies.

Do not post any comments as to the merits of the answers of a certain exam paper/flow on the blogs while an exam/flow is still ongoing. Also, do not post the invigilator password or anything else that may be considered the breach of the exam regulations, instructions to the candidates, code of conducts, etc (see, e.g.,  e-EQE website and the emails from the EQE secretariat).

All candidates, as well as tutors who helped candidates prepare for EQE 2021, are invited to contribute to the discussions on our EQE blogs! You can post your comments in English, French or German. You are invited to post your comments under your real name, but it is also possible to use a nickname if you wish to hide your identify.

The DeltaPatents team

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Donot forget your final system test: Mock 3 is this Tuesday, 23 Feb!

If you could not test your e-EQE setup with Mock 2, or you had trouble during Mock 2, do not forget to take the opportunity for a final system check on Tuesday 23 February!

Candidates received information about Mock 3 in an email from 12 February 2021. That email indicated that the flow information email from Wiseflow for Mock 3 will be sent on 22 February.

If you run into problems due to lack of admin privileges (e.g., when using a company computer), it is recommended to have another computer (e.g., your private laptop or desktop) available for Mock 3. You can then switch to your private computer if it fails on your company computer - and then use our private computer for the real e-EQE. Use Mock 3 to test what works best for you!! 

Refer to our earlier blog on Mock 3 here if you want to have more tips and want to post comments. 

You may also wish to check:

If you wish to comment on Mock 3, please post your comments to our Mock 3 blog.

Friday, 12 February 2021

Calendars for EQE 2021 (Pre-Exam and paper D) available

 The Calendars for EQE 2021 (Pre-Exam and paper D) are available on the EQE website (here):

Also, the Notice of 18 July 2013 from the Examination Board on the Use of calendars in Paper D and Pre-examination has been re-published on the same page, to remind candidates that:

  • For the Pre-examination and Paper D, calendars will continue to be provided to candidates as part of the examination papers and will continue to be a correct calendar for the respective year (e.g. 1st January 2014 will be a Wednesday).
  • However, the calendars might not necessarily cover all EPO closing days. This means that some days, on which the EPO filing offices are actually closed, might not be indicated as closing days in the calendars.
    • Comment from the blog editor: especially so-called Bridging days are usually not provided in the EQE calendars; but also some closure days due to national/local holidays in Munich, The Hague or Berlin are sometimes not present. So never rely on your own knowledge, but use the EQE calendars when answering.
  • For future examinations, candidates shall answer the papers solely on the basis of the calendars in the examination papers.
You can download and print the calendars already now and put them with your EQE reference materials!

Thursday, 11 February 2021

e-EQE 2021: Mock 3 on 23 February

 In today's Virtual Classroom session on e-EQE 2021, it was announced that there will be a Mock 3:

  • On 23 February
  • 1 main exam flow (morning)
  • 1 pre-exam flow (afternoon)
  •  Purpose:  allow final test of equipment
  • Will include camera, invigilation, ZenDesk.
  • They are not new papers to do; the aim is just to test the system
  • Invitation will be send to all candidates in time - do not send any request to the EQE helpdesk
Click on "Read more" for:
  • Text of email from EQE secretariat about Mock 3
  • Updated information on e-EQE website

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Requirements for the e-EQE 2021 [Updated 20/02/2021]

 A document "Requirements for the e-EQE 2021" has been published on the e-EQE website today, together with a new User Guide and new Tips for candidates.

In today's (28/01/2021) information session it was indicated that there will also be new "Instructions to the candidates". Nothing special is to be expected with respect to the changes - the changes are what follows naturally from the switch from an exam hall exam to the e-EQE.

[Update 20/02/2021]: 
The e-EQE website has been updated with:

  • New "Instructions to candidates concerning the conduct of the EQE 2021"
  • new "Code of conduct for the e-EQE
to replace and supplement parts of OJ 2019, Suppl 2 Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives.

Also note the document "Step by step to the e-EQE" on the e-EQE website,

FAQ e-EQE extended [blog post updated 1/3/2021]

 The e-EQE FAQ on the EPO website has been extended with new information. Also, a new User Guide and new Tips for candidates have been published.

The new information in the FAQ addresses:

  • Should I use my corporate or my private environment?
  • Will I get the invigilator password?
  • How do I contact the support team in case of difficulties during the EQE?
  • Do I need Zendesk?
  • I did not manage to take my picture in the flow “Reference photo with ID/passport”. Am I allowed to sit the EQE?
  •  Am I allowed to use keyboard shortcuts, special keys combinations, such as Alt+Tab, and touchpad gestures in the LockDown browser?
  • Should my screensaver or screen lock be de-activated?
  • Do I have access to the legal texts in electronic form?
  • How can I indicate text in paper B which is deleted or added?
  • For paper C, will I be able to see my answer to the first part during the second part?
  • Since the opposition form has been abolished, how can I provide the required information in my answer?

The new information is cited below in full (emphasis added; formatted). For the complete FAQ, we refer to the e-EQE FAQ itself.

Updated 02/2021 - Should I use my corporate or my private environment?

Corporate computers and networks often have a strict security policy.
In this respect, some candidates have experienced issues

  • with the LockDown Browser (e.g. interruption of flow, limited Zendesk functionality), 
  • with the use of camera and microphone or 
  • with the reliability of the network connection used by the LockDown Browser and IP address issues.

To mention some elements to be checked (list non-exhaustive)

  • software rights management; 
  • screen or power savers; 
  • automatic system or software updates; 
  • hardware rights management for camera or microphone; 
  • virus scanners; 
  • change of IP addresses in corporate networks; 
  • firewalls security configurations.

If you experience issues during the mock examinations, which cannot be solved, it is strongly advised to either contact your IT department to solve the issues within your corporate IT Policy or most advisable is to use another (private) computer or network.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Information from the training sessions "The 2021 e-EQE" on 14 January 2021

 

Yesterday, two e-EQE Virtual classrooms were organized by the Academy/EPO/epi. (see annoucement)
  • The first session targeted candidates and tutors; the second session was for tutors only. The session has been recorded and will be available on the EQE website soon.
         Update 18/1/2021: the recording is now available on the e-EQE website.

  • It was announced that there will be two more session like this, for further questions (end Jan [28-1-link]; mid Feb [11/2-link]). Also, the online information will be updated.
Candidates are all strongly advised to test the e-EQE platform with Mock 1 and Mock 2 well before the exam.

  • Check the e-EQE webpage, regularly! https://www.epo.org/learning/eqe/e-eqe.html  
  • Only about 1/3 has opened the flows of Mock 1… important to check the flows and the system!
  • Check the tips from the documents on the e-EQE website!
  • Check the FAQ in the EQE website!
In the session, many questions were answered, confirming what is already in the FAQ or adding some more detail. The following topics may be worth to mention.