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.

Getting started
  • Note that, before you can access the papers (the "flows"), you should first have used the very first email from Wiseflow where you can set a password. 
  • Note the different passwords.
Admin rights
Admin rights are needed to install and run – without admin rights, the software cannot be secure. There are two possible ways:
  1. You can have admin privileges yourself; OR:
  2. Your company IT can whitelist this software to run with admin privileges , even if you do not have admin privileges yourself.
So you donot need these privileges yourself, but your software can have it (That solution is also used within the EPO).

Recommended to set your computer to “No updates during the exam week” (and maybe a few days before), so that the system is stable and there is no risk of any effects due to Windows/iOS updates.

Invigilation
AI inviligation needs a reference image = very first entry image: Need to show ID card or passport.
Any webcam can do. Lighting conditions are important. 
Neutral background to capture entry image and during the exam!
Will be part of Mock 2 (not in Mock 1).
Check the e-EQE website for details.

It is not required to indicate where you are going to sit.
But place must be in line with the guidelines and rules:
In closed room, alone, no other person allowed, no big glass walls, no disturbance.

Coming late / Late starting:
In paper exam, hardly ever happened. Only once when there was a snow storm in Munich
Recommended to log in into the Wiseflow system 1 hour before the exam
Recommended to print once the documents are available.
No need for as late starting
If 1-2 minutes late, will be accepted, but time is lost
If 15 min or more later, you will not be let in.

Headsets, headphones, earplugs
Headphones/earplugs not allowed.
In general, only allowed to have electronics needed to take the exam, but nothing else.
Not allowed to cover your ears – ears shall be visible on the camera (considered part of the face)
All sound that comes into your ear shall also come into the microphone of the invigilation.

Camera
Camera should be in front of you, centered at top or bottom of the screen that you are going to use.
Laptop camera is allowed with external screen if the camera can be so positioned
External camera and speakers are allowed, but no earplugs/headset

Printer
Printer can be in different room, can use a network printer (but make sure that you will have it available and are not delayed by long print jobs from colleagues).
As it is allowed before the lockdown browser is started, when you still have full control of your hardware and network.
However, once the lockdown browser is started, you cannot print anymore – so, only start the lockdown browser after you have collected your printout and have closed your door.

External screen; other devices
Allowed to use an external screen if you use a laptop, but you will need to shut down your laptop screen.
Cannot use an additional laptop to e.g. access your electronic documents – can not use any other electronic equipment than what you need to do the exam.
Can use mobile phone as wifi hotspot, as long as it is preconfigured and not in reach of the person sitting the exam, so e.g. in next room. But recommended to use cabled internet connection.
Any spare equipment should be outside the room or, if inside the room, well out of reach.

Unscheduled breaks
W.r.t. toilet/unscheduled breaks:
- Scheduled breaks are indicated in the Schedule;
- Pre-Exam has 70-min parts: not allowed to leave the examination room during a 70-min part, unless you handin your answer of the part (=conclude on that part);
- DI has 90-min parts: not allowed to leave the examination room during such a 90-min part, unless you handin your answer of the part;
- For all other papers (A, B, 2 parts of C) and for the DII-part, you can leave the room, but need to notice the invigilator when you leave and when you come back.

Other software
Cannot use other software than the exam system. So cannot use Excel, Word, …
Flockdown will shut down other software when it starts.

Highlight/annotation (main exam)
You can NOT highlight in the assignments (pdfs of paper) – not supported by the system.
But could copy the text into the editor, as workaround - some highligting/formatting features are available in the text editor.

Paper C
Paper C has been split into two equal parts – equal time, but not necessarily equal marks (“100 marks for paper as a whole, but no further comments; may be different between the two parts”)
- First part lot of reading, relatively easy attacks
- Second part less reading, relatively longer and more difficult attacks

Calendars for Paper D and Pre-Exam
In Mock 1 (DI and Pre-Exam), the calendars were only available after logon to Wiseflow but before starting the Flowlock browser: recommended to print the calendars in advance to be sure to have them available during Mock 2 and during the real e-EQE!
The Mock 2 calendar is likely to be the same as the e-EQE 2021 calendar.

Using multiple tabs: be aware
If you open too many copies of the Assignment in many many Tabs, the system may crash and reboot. So do not open too many Tabs! (Issue is under investigation)

External Resources
During the exam, there is an “External Resources” link at the top of the browser window. It will give access to:
- Calendars
- e- EQE technical manuals
- In Mock 1, you can browse complete EPO website – that will NOT be possible in real e-EQE. Rather, in the e-EQE: A limited set of legal documents will be available; working on it; aim to get (most of the) documents from the legal syllabus. These will NOT be searchable.

Copy of answer
Candidates will be able to download a copy of their answer at the end of the exam time.

Mock 1
You can access Mock 1 as often as you like (provided you did not submit your answer).

Refer to the WISEflow guide for EQE candidates (Version for Mock 1), par 6.2.2 (bottom of page 7):

"6.2.2. Mock 1
You will be sent an email containing two flow‐specific passwords: a participation password and an invigilator password.
You can then start, exit and re‐start the flow as often as you wish after the first access, provided that you have not handed in your answer.
For example, if you want to exit the LockDown browser without handing in your answer (by clicking the red Exit button in the bar at the top of FLOWlock), you will need to use the invigilator password.

Note: Once you have handed in your answer you can no longer re‐enter the flow."

Mock 2
Most papers are reworked old papers, updated to current standard; DI is new.
Unfortunately, no information yet which old papers were used, so there is a risk that you have already practice the paper that is the basis of Mock 2 when you sit it.

Mock 2 is provided do be done in the same time schedule as the real e-EQE, but one month in advance.
Mock 2 papers have not foreseen to be used outside the scheduled time, but this may be considered.

Not back to paper exams in the future
Future EQEs will not go back to paper, exam-hall EQEs. It will continue to be an online exam. 
As time was short, the e-EQE 2021 papers are still in more-or-less paper-based style now, adapted to be done online and to be done in parts (where you would otherwise need to sit too long behind your computer without breaks). The formats will be developed further for future exams.

Practicing and sitting
Good luck with your further practice, and with your exams!!!

Please feel invited to share your experiences with the platform as comments to this blog. 
Indicate whether your comment relates to the main system/ a specific (part of a) main exam paper or the pre-exam systema specific part of the pre-exam paper.

We allow you to post your comments anonymously, but it is recommended and appreciated if you identify yourself using your true name or a nick name - that makes communication much more pleasant and efficient than talking to "Anonymous 19 January 2021 22:23" and alike. 
Please refer to the "Problems with commenting" link on the top right of this blog page if you have problems with commenting (which may occur due to security settings, cookies, etc, esp when using Captcha with anonymous posts).

25 comments:

  1. I did not seize the thing you are saying for C - equal time, but not necessarily equal marks; first part lot of reading, relatively easy attacks/ second part less reading, relatively longer and more difficult attacks. Thanx. It sounds logic, we’ll see at Mock 2

    In Mock 1 I tried the External recourses – I accessed the EPO page but could not open e-EQE technical manuals nor legal texts, there was a red warning that this is not accessible. Hence I wondered why this link is put?!

    I asked the panelists yesterday regarding the papers on Mock 2 but no answer was given, hence high risk we spoil our exam but at least we’ll try the real exam conditions...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Paper C format could work but I'm still uncertain about it. I truly think we need to be able to see our first part during the second part.

    I also believe we need to print out the claims. This would make the most sense especially if we are not allowed to leave the room once the paper has been printed. I'm not sure what is the objection here by the EPO. Everything else is available for printing.

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  3. As mentioned by many many candidates here and elsewhere, the EPO needs to be more flexible with mock 2. The majority of candidates will NOT be able to sit in real time (especially if they are doing 4 exams) to do the mock. That's a whole week they need to set aside for.

    My suggestion is that they make mock 2 available for longer just like they do for mock 1. The papers are more closer to the real exams so if they don't make it available for longer, it will put a lot of candidates at a disadvantage who cannot afford to take a week off to do the mock 2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree to this. Candidates who can't do mock 2 for various reasons in real time should NOT be put at a disadvantage for the real exams. I wonder if the tutors raised this point to the EPO yesterday.

      Delete
    2. I agree, its a very difficult burden put on the candidates. I wonder though if it is so they can practice the remote invigilation? I suppose at least the papers will be made available afterwards.

      Delete
  4. The platform should be checked for the bug that prevents from changing the language of the papers displayed in the window next to your text editor. If you want to read ENG, but you clicked on the small preview image (as default set to DE), you will not be able to change the displayed language to ENG (done by Select assingment button), but will be stuck with DE. Thus, one unfortunate click at the start of the exam will force you to either restart the platform (not easy and stressful, not even sure if allowed), or to read the sheet paper in the other tab and once read - going back to the other tab to write down answers.
    Big error in the system, hope they will fix it before Mock 2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you try to Refresh your page? Maybe that helps?

      Delete
    2. Please - I tried a lot. It does not work.
      Below there is a link to a video of the problem - language does not change. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1F2BsUU-aT7Z3Ia00f4MsAl8LmuUkPBRr/view?usp=sharing

      Delete
  5. From another comment in a different post: "You can click the refresh button of FLOWlock to force clearance of the cache of the side-by-side window." It worked for me. In your video you did not try that.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The new e-EQE meeting for candidates/tutors:
    https://www.epo.org/learning/training/details.html?eventid=13970

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi - I am planning on sitting my exam at work in the conference room which has one big glass wall (I would be facing the glass wall, with my back against white cupboards) the big glass wall is then facing the rest of the open office - which is a closed room itself. I will be the only one in the room - is this still allowed re. glass wall? Also, the lighting in the office is "timed" so it does turn off after an X amount of time, therefore, in theory I would need to "wave" my arms abit in order to turn them back on - will this be allowed? Or I guess would you just recommend putting a lamp on? Starting to panic abit now, as I don't really have the correct conditions at home, hence why I was going to take it in the office, however if the glass wall stops me, then I don't know what I can do. Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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  8. Just to make sure, I am still allowed to use paper copies of Guidelines, Case Law, EPC commentary etc.? In paper exams we could use everything we brough on paper (suitcases full of paper). Is there any restriction regarding this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EQE is still open book. EPO will try to grant access to the syllabus (or part of it) through the Lockdown browser but there is no warranty that it will be implemented properly this year (they said so in the last webinar). It would indeed avoid having to print the Applicant Guide of the PCT. So, yes, you are allowed to use whatever material you have prepared.

      Delete
  9. The EQE website says:

    Electronic notification
    With effect from January 2021 all correspondence will be conducted in electronic form only, via myEQE.

    Notice from the Examination Secretariat (link)

    The link goes to OJ EPO 2020, A140 at https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/2020/12/a140/2020-a140.pdf

    OJ 2020, A140 reads:

    Notice from the Examination
    Secretariat for the European
    qualifying examination

    In accordance with Article 9(2)(b) of the
    Regulation on the European qualifying
    examination (REE), candidates are
    advised that with effect from
    1 January 2021 all correspondence will
    be conducted in electronic form only,
    via the myEQE portal. This goes for all
    appealable decisions too. The
    requirement to use registered mail is
    removed. Appealable decisions will be
    deemed delivered ten days after being
    made available on myEQE. The time
    limits for appeal under Article 24 REE
    will apply mutatis mutandis.

    >> "The requirement to use registered mail is removed."

    Is it?
    Has the REE been amended?
    Has the IPREE been amended?
    Is there a Decision of the President under Rule 127(1) EPC?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A19 IPREE mentions that "the Secretariat shall inform candidates in writing".

      REE/IPREE do not contain any further specifics. Therefore I assume "the requirement to use registered mail" was a requirement set by a notice from the Secretariat, and has been removed by another notice.

      Delete
  10. Is this still in force as Instructions to candidates concerning the conduct of the European qualifying examination: https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/2019/etc/se2/p36.html ?

    Have these Instructions been amended in view of the e-EQE?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Does anyone know if the "strike through" feature is going to be available in the text editor especially for paper B. One of the bugs that I'm quite annoyed about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technically: ̶ ̶s̶t̶r̶i̶k̶e̶t̶h̶r̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶p̶o̶s̶s̶i̶b̶l̶e̶ , even in html. Search for "strikethrough text generator"
      But you cannot use this during the exam, of course. Unless they add it to the font properties menu in the browser.

      Delete
    2. There is a rumor saying EPO will try to make strikethrough available, but there is so far no warranty they will succeed.
      I think candidates are free to use other ways of indicating deleted subject-matter, as long as a note is included for the correctors of the paper leaving it clear.
      Some suggest to proceed as follows:
      >>deleted subject matter<<
      [deleted subject matter]

      Of course, do not use underline for deleted S.M. as it may cause confusion with the norm that this format is for added features.

      Delete
    3. It looks like the software packages were chosen by someone who knows nothing about the EQE exams.

      Delete
    4. In part B, is it even mandatory to provide a set of claims indicating the amendments? Isn't it sufficient to provide a new set of claims (clean copy) and discuss the amendments in the response? Does anyone know how many points could be deducted if one only provides one version (either clean copy or marked-up)?

      Delete
    5. In principle, that is fine for the exam marks if you get the exact answer they want. But it is normal on an exam to show how you got to an answer in case you do something different or get a part wrong.
      And nobody can work like that - once you delete it, you cannot check it any more. You cannot even mark up the exam in any way. It is also your checklist as you explain the support for what you have changed. And you may change your mind if the support is not clear.

      In practice, when you discuss amendments with clients or your mentor, you will look at the actual amendments made using strikethrough and underline.

      Also, just clean claims are not normally accepted by the EPO for a real office action unless it unambiguously clear what has been changed (small trivial changes like adding reference numbers). They will compare the texts, but if it does not match up with your explanation, they will ask you to do it properly.

      If strikethrough is not available, use either >>abc<< or [abc] or {abc} or [...] as a placeholder to indicate that something has been deleted. Choose the option that is the easiest and clearest for you - don't worry about the markers, they will manage with this.

      Delete
  12. I discussed with an IT colleague regarding the internet connection during the exam and he said that:
    - even if the mobile phone will be already setup for providing internet in case of failure of cabled internet,
    - it will not automatically start in case of failure of cabled internet
    - so, I must switch manually to mobile phone as wifi hotspot, if the case will be
    - so, I must have the mobile phone near me.


    Cristina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cristina, a possible solution. Saltedpatent realised that you can get to the lock screen easily from within the browser (WindowsKey & L) or (ctrl-alt-delete & select lock).
      Bottom right there is network icon - you can select a different network, such as a hotspot.
      You just need to make sure that your phone remains active as a hotspot - usually it is possible to force the hotspot to stay on with a setting, even if no devices are connected.
      If it works, can you let us know?

      Delete
  13. FAQs have been updated with very brief clarifications on papers B and C:
    B: [deletions]
    C: answer to part I can be accessed during part II if printed during the break

    ReplyDelete