Thursday, 28 January 2021

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.

Updated 02/2021 - Will I get the invigilator password?

You will not automatically receive the invigilator password. In very exceptional circumstances only, you may ask via Zendesk for the invigilator password.
The password will be given only after you gave valid reasons indicating why you need it. You can only use it for that specific purpose.
The invigilator password is granted exclusively to you and it is forbidden to use it in any other way or share it with others.
You may use the password only once. Any further use must be requested again and agreed by the invigilator.
Please note that any use of the invigilator password is recorded in your file history.
Please also refer to point 34 of the instructions to candidates.

Updated 02/2021 - How do I contact the support team in case of difficulties during the EQE?

From within the LockDown browser, you can contact an invigilator via Zendesk. This is the easiest and quickest way to reach an invigilator. Please note that your request will be acknowledged within 15 minutes after having received your request. However, the answer time depends on the complexity of the issue.

If you are not in the LockDown browser, you can log-in via “epo.zendesk.com” from a standard internet browser.

Only in emergency cases and if Zendesk is not available, please call +49 89 2399 5155. Telephone lines are very limited and we strongly recommend to use Zendesk as way of communication.

Communication via email will not be dealt with.

Updated 02/2021 - Do I need Zendesk?

Yes, it is the only way to communicate between you and the invigilator. Thus it is obligatory to enter the Zendesk chat at the beginning of each flow.

You must access Zendesk in the LockDown browser via “external resources”.

If you have not yet activated your Zendesk account make sure to contact helpdesk@eqe.org immediately. Please also refer to the User Guide points 4.4 and 6.4.1.

Updated 02/2021 - I did not manage to take my picture in the flow “Reference photo with ID/passport”. Am I allowed to sit the EQE?

Yes, you are allowed to sit the EQE, irrespective if the picture was taken (correctly) and if you hold up your ID in the flow “Reference photo with ID/passport”. 

This flow will not be re-opened. As a consequence, during the EQE, at the beginning of each flow, you must take an entry image holding up your ID/passport next to your face.
Please refer to point 4.1 of the "Tips for candidates".

Updated 02/2021 – Am I allowed to use keyboard shortcuts, special keys combinations, such as Alt+Tab, and touchpad gestures in the LockDown browser?

You are not allowed to use shortcuts (Alt+Tab, Ctrl-P or the like), key combinations and touchpad gestures in the LockDown browser, except the ones mentioned below.
Using shortcuts is seen as an unauthorised action and will result in the LockDown browser to stop your examination.

The following shortcuts are allowed: Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+Shift+V, Ctrl+F (and the corresponding Mac shortcuts).

Updated 01/2021 - Should my screensaver or screen lock be de-activated?

Yes, the screensaver and any automatic lock after a period of inactivity should be disabled. If this is not possible, the period should be set to as long as possible. You will have to take this period into account, avoiding that the screensaver or screen lock becomes active, because they can create instability and force the FLOWlock program to close.

Similarly, power-saving functions should be disabled, such as those which cause the computer to automatically power off, sleep or hibernate.

Updated 02/2021 - Do I have access to the legal texts in electronic form?

In the LockDown Browser, you will have access to the EPO legal texts as "external resources" (see user guide point 6.4)

You will be able to navigate the EPO legal texts webpage. No other legal texts will be made available online.

When consulting the legal texts, do not download the large pdf documents. Please navigate to the html version and the smaller pdfs only.

[update 11-02-21: In today's virtual classroom, it was indicated that you will gave access to the EPO legal texts pages and that you can from thereon navigate the complete EPO website:

  • So presumably also the  Euro-PCT Guide from the "Applying for a patent"-section (https://www.epo.org/applying/international/guide-for-applicants.html)
  • No PCT legal texts will be available, as they are not on  the EPO domain (but on https://www.wipo.int/pct/) - so you will need to print the PCT Articles, Rules, Applicant's Guide as far as you want to use it, and other PCT overviews; 
  • You can access the HTML pages and some of the smaller pdfs. As in Mock 2, large pdfs (e.g., the pdf of the complete Guidelines) will not be available.
  • If a document is made available via "External Resources" in a different version than that specified in the EQE syllabus (version in force on 31.10.2020, or -exceptionally- for main exam also 31.10.2019), answers based on that version will also be accepted
    • so if you get access to the Guidelines in force on the date of the exam (the 2021 version enters into force since 1/3/2021), you can use that version as valid legal basis.]

Updated 01/2021 - How can I indicate text in paper B which is deleted or added?

If you wish to indicate changes you should proceed as follows:

Deletions should be indicated with square brackets “[ ]”.

Added text should be shown by underlining the respective text.

[note from the blog editor:
the editor of WiseFlow/LockDown browser does not provide for strike-through.So,if you wish to indicate deletions, you have to use an alternative method: use square brackets (as also commonly used in various jurisdictions). Thus:

   A car vehicle comprising at least two seats a driver seat and a passenger seat.
shall be indicated as:
   A [car] vehicle comprising [at least two seats] a driver seat and a passenger seat.]

Updated 01/2021 - For paper C, will I be able to see my answer to the first part during the second part?

No
but you will be able to print your answer to the first part of paper C during the break between the two parts.
To do this, you will have to go to the "information on flows" page (see point 6.5 in the user guide [note from the blog editor: point 6.5 of the user guide for Mock 1 is cited below*]) and download your answer before printing it.


Updated 01/2021 - Since the opposition form has been abolished, how can I provide the required information in my answer?

In this respect, please consult the Notice of the Examination Board

[Note from the blog editor: Guidelines D-III, 6 "Content of the notice of opposition" may be helpful]

---

* Point 6.5 of the user guide for Mock 1 ("WISEflow guide for EQE candidates (Version for Mock 1)", available from the e-EQE page; check the page for new editions of the Guide) provides:

"6.5. Terminating the flow

To submit your answer, click the “Go to hand in” button and confirm the submission in the window which pops up. [...]

Once you have handed in your answer, you should close the LockDown browser and log out. [...].

To view your submitted answer, you can log in again and navigate to the flow information page without launching FLOWlock. You can download a copy of your answer and request a receipt for its submission from the flow information page. [...]."


Updated 02/2021 - Will the papers be made available in the three official languages of the EPO?

All candidates will receive the examination papers in the three official languages of the EPO.

For opening the papers in the preferred language, please refer on our website to the Wiseflow Tutorial chapter "Access assignment" and Tips for candidates.

[Comments from the editor:
Being able to select a preferred language is only possible for the main exam papers; in the Pre-Exam, you get tri-langual questions and statements.
In the main exam papers, n
ext to your preferred language version, you can open a different language version with “Open in a new tab”, e.g., for a non-native English speaker to also consult the German paper in case of interpretation issues with the English text.]

Updated 02/2021 - Will it be possible to print the examination papers? When are the printable parts made available?

Candidates will be allowed to print parts of the pre-examination and main examination papers before the start of the respective paper. When it comes to deciding which parts can be printed, consideration will be given to ensuring the confidentiality of the questions while enabling candidates to work comfortably and ergonomically.

The printable documents will be made available approximately 20 minutes before the start of the flow.
[Comments from the editor: in Mock 2, the documents were only available 10 minutes or in some cases even shorter before the start. To provide enough time for printing, the time has been extended to 20 minutes.]

Also refer to our other blog posts on the FAQ (e.g., here) and on other aspects of the e-EQE (on our EQE blog page, or on the blogs for the specific papers).


Please feel invited to provide your comments

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18 comments:

  1. Hi, I guess the pdf versions will be more useful than the html versions, for using cntrl+f, in case you want to find something?

    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. for the online legal documents i mean

      Delete
    2. No use of CTRL-F to browse through the legal documents will be permitted. Also: You won't have access to the legal text pdfs AFAIK.

      Delete
    3. In Mock 2's Pre-Exam of today, the Guidelines (GL/EPO; GL/PCT-EPO) and other legal texts were available via "External Resources" as HTML pages.
      The pdf of the Guidelines was blocked and not accessible.
      The OJ EPO publications were available in HTML as well as pdf, as was the EPC (but pdf as 2016 grey Book version).
      No access of WIPO PCT website.

      Delete
  2. The user guide is priceless: "Please note: you should not open more than 10 tabs, because you would not be able to navigate away from the eleventh tab. In the Wiseflow setup of the EQE, this fact implies that you would have no other option than rebooting the PC".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Incredibly crazy. Who designs such a poor interface... Question for UNIwise: What kind of tests/exams was this platform designed for? i got a feeling that this does not correspond to the type of exam the EQE is ....
      Also:
      Who makes printing of questions impossible (DII I'm looking at you) and then makes it impossible to annotate the pdf via the interface. We can't even underline the paper equivalent!
      Why can't we have a proper side-by-side of the DII information and the answer sheet. This joke of an overlay window is just totally unusable ....
      Lastly, who though it wise to kick everyone out because ALT-Tab maps to the swipe gesture on a tablet ? Yes UNIwise designs its tools for tablet operation ... but we're on a MAC/PC here (or is anyone attempting the EQE on an ipad?)

      Delete
    2. I have a big screen purchased just for the purpose of this exam and I see that I cannot tile windows side by side at all. I cannot print pages at all. I have to memorize what is written on one window and then write on the other. Copy paste messes up the whole format, so it is not of help when I want to deal with long sentences.

      And yeah, I removed my alt, fn and win keys from my keyboard to be on the safe side, because I got kicked out of the session during D paper.

      Delete
    3. You may wish to try your big screen in portrait if you do pre-exam. Then you can see the complete question and statements in all 3 languages on one screen without scrolling.

      You can tile your paper side-by-side to the editor in main exam. And resize the paper window such that it is no longer messed up shows a full page.

      Try Ctr-C - Ctrl-Shift-V, rather than Ctrl-V, to make the copying less bad.

      Many workarounds needed. But with all of them it works!

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the tip about pasting, I will do that!
      I am doing the main exam and my monitor is really to big to use in portrait mode.
      But I never managed to tile my paper and editor during the exam. How exactly you do it?

      Delete
  3. Today Paper B: Flow was full with flickering black boxes, the assignment could be opened but the pages were empty. Not able to see the paper in any language (not in new tabs nor in pop-up window).
    Paper D and A did not show this issue (for me).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Today, first part of Paper C: additional information (prior art) was provided 3 minutes before the start of the paper. This is really too late for printing. At that time you need to start the flow, as it takes also 1-2 minutes to enter (photo, mic ect).
    With 26 pages to print (4 pages per min, and overhead) you need 7 min to get it printed (needs to be done before starting the Flow). Thus, when you are really for actually starting the paper, you lost about 5-6 precious minutes.
    Material needs to be available at least 10m before the start. Otherwise much stress created

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was recognized as indicated later on the day when this message showed in Wiseflow as a DirectMessage (message symbol on top of the screen as a trumpet-like symbol).
      You can still see this message in the right column of the Flow part of Mock 2 Paper C part 2.

      10:31  Today (5-2-2021)
      Printing documents: while fine tuning the system, we noticed that the upload of the print documents was delayed. We confirm that documents for printing will be made available 10 minutes before the start of each flow of the EQE.

      Delete
  5. At 11 o'clock, while I was happily typing away and I am certain I did not do anything unauthorised (I removed my Alt-button from my keyboard): sudden black screen.
    No warning, no message, nothing.
    I was back in again in 3 minutes and all work was saved.
    But it doubled my heartbeat and it took me a while to get back into the exam and concentrate again.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Both D and C papers were disasterous
    In D paper too little time is given to solve it properly. I literally rushed through pages and the keyboard keys to finish my sentences.

    C paper was a travesty. It was not clear whether we were to oppose all 7 claims or only the new 4 one.

    Zendesk practically does not exist. Queue times are so long, you wait all the way thru the exam until someone answers, which for me did not happen...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is very clear from the FAQ:
      any new attacks that you can do in the second part need to be done.
      To new claims 1-4.
      And to the old claims 5-7, if you see any new attacks.
      But you do not get marks for attacks on claims 5-7 that you could already have done during the first part.

      Updated 12/2020 - How will paper C be structured and what do I have to take into account when answering it?

      The EQE 2021's paper C will be split into two parts.

      In the first part of the paper, you will be provided with a letter from a client, prior-art documents, a description of the patent to be opposed and a number of its claims. Within the allotted time, you will be required to draft as much of a notice of opposition as it is possible based on the documents at hand. This first part of the notice of opposition must be handed in at the end of the first part of the exam.

      In the second part, you will be provided with one or more additional claims of the same patent. You may also receive further information such as another letter from the client, further prior art and/or supplementary parts of the patent's description. You will be required to draft a second part of the notice of opposition, which will form, together with the first part you already provided, the complete notice of opposition which will be marked. This second part of the notice of opposition must be handed in at the end of the second part of the exam.

      If an attack which is available in the first part of the paper is discussed only during the second part of the exam, no marks will be awarded to that attack.

      Delete
    2. Yes I realize their aim now...
      In the first part one was supposed to use Annex 4 and 2 only, so I defined only Annex 4 and 2 in the oppo notice. In part 2 the rest of the annex is used, so I thought ok I have to write a new notice to define rest of the annex. But then I wanted to see my oppo notice from the morning. So things got really confusing suddenly.

      I think they should provide that paragraph from FAQ as the exam instructions so that mistakes like mine are easily avoided.

      Regarding zendesk, I time stamped everything. Queue number moved from 30s to 2 in 1 hour. Got stuck at number 2 for 36 minutes. I quit after that point. I suspect there was only one invigilator for everyone out there.

      Delete
  7. Unbelievable that only the 3 shortcuts “Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+Shift+V” are allowed.

    So if we mistype or a paper book gets by accident on the keyboard, this will be the end of the exam!

    This is another unacceptable disadvantage which the candidates have to bear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Confirmed in today's Virtual Classroom:

      Only shortcuts allowed:
      o shortcuts relating to copy-paste: Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, Ctr-Shift-V

      Alt-tab and other Shortcuts are considered as security threat:
      o 1st time a warning
      o 2nd time kicked out

      E.g., Alt-Tab is used to switch to another program which is not allowed, and as it is considered a security threat, the LokDown browser will exit if you use it more than once.

      The same may happen with two-finger gestures on a touchpad: use only one finger, or consider to use external mouse rather than a touchpad

      Screen saver or power saver of devices used may also result in the LockDown browser exiting: disable those functions or make sure to move your mouse sufficiently often such that the screen saver does not activate.

      Delete