Saturday, 13 March 2021

e-EQE 2021 - emails from candidates to EQE Secretariat will be forwarded to the Examination Board

 

The above Notice from the Examination Secretariat concerning the conduct of the EQE 2021 has been published on the EQE website.

The Notice provides (cited in full, no changes made):

10 March 2021

Notice from the Examination Secretariat – Conduct of the EQE 2021

Following the European Qualifying Examination (EQE), which took place from 1 to 5 March 2021, the Examination Secretariat has received a number of emails from candidates describing their circumstances and individual experience in relation to the pre-examination or the papers of the main examination.

Candidates are hereby informed that their emails will be forwarded to the Examination Board. However, there will be no individual acknowledgement of receipt.

 

86 comments:

  1. Is this notice to be considered an invitation to send our circumstances and individual experiences? Will do!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think the 24 hour thing was particularly harsh for candidates taking all 4 exams. They should change this policy. Many candidates wouldn't have time to properly write down and consider all the details of the day. Can they change this to give candidates more time to gather evidence, write statements etc...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. especially this year where there are many problems for all the days. Need to change this policy for sure - it's clear that considerations and policies as well as papers need to be adapted for the online format.

      Delete
    2. Clear from the message: also emails send later than the date of the exam will be considered. So no need to refrain from sending emails about my personal circumstances and experiences to the Examination Board by email to the Examination Secretariat (helpdesk@eqe.org).

      Delete
  3. The exam committees need to know how terrible, unsuitable and inadequate these papers were this year. It seems that little or no thought had gone into adapting the papers to online format this year.

    Further, they need to consider stress & damage caused to this year's candidates of the IT malfunctions, unsuitable papers for online and horrendous formatting issues on wiseflow.

    I should also mention and include the stress and heavy admin burden on candidates leading up to the exams itself.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Roel thank you for the information. I have a question, and it may sound stupid. Do I need to tell them the stress caused by the language issue of D1.1 to get the compensation? or the compensation is for all of EN/FR candidates irrespective of whether I send an email. As they posted the message on 03.Mar, and I was really tired, so I did not send email.

    Tired Candidate

    ReplyDelete
  5. So guys, since we are patent attorneys, let us decode what is actually being said and what is not being said.

    The notice of 3 March, 2021 states: "The Examination Board for the EQE is aware of a disruption affecting paper D1.1 and guarantees that no candidate will be disadvantaged as a result during the marking process."

    Yes, but in the above text, what is important is also the aspect which is not being said. More particularly, the text only says that nobody will be "disadvantaged". This is an ambiguity. How is this fair for candidates that received 30 minutes less? By definition, receiving 30 minutes less time compared to the German speaking candidates is being "disadvantaged". EPO is way over the point of taking criticism and their operating budget of 2.5 billion Euros (see OJ A1, 2021, page 2) is not to be trifled with. To mount an effective complaint against EPO is almost not possible as a candidate. The survey in itself is an indicator that they are not willing to listen to any criticism.

    The second notification from 10 March 2021 says that:

    "Candidates are hereby informed that their emails will be forwarded to the Examination Board. However, there will be no individual acknowledgement of receipt."

    So as a candidate, it is being informed that all the venues are closed for you. Secondly, what is not being said is whether the identity of the candidates will be revealed to the Examination Board while forwarding the E-mails from the candidates. Thus, the Examination Board this year "may" have the individual identities of the candidates who forwarded their comments. It is also entirely unclear the role of time stamp of the messages written to the Zendesk in that it does not say whether the issues raised by the candidates in D1-1 via the chat will reach the Examination Board. If they do reach along with the E-mail, what is the guarantee that the anonymity of the candidate while evaluation is carried on be maintained? It is unclear whether the Examination Board will ensure this from the communique.

    All in all, it is a watershed year for the candidates. We need to look at this in the background of examination fees too. For instance, 4000 candidates took this exam. If at least 2000 candidates re-sit two papers (e.g., B and C), this amounts to 2000 first-time sitters *400 = 800,000 Euros. Add the second-time re-sitters: approximately 500 candidates *600 = 300,000 Euros. Furthermore, the new candidates that will appear next year will bring the revenue up to easily above the exam fees revenue of 1,6 million Euros to the EPO. This will not only be enough to recoup the money invested in the software last year, but will also become a steady source of revenue.

    We should be absolutely objective about the motivation of the EPO in making the papers B and C in the way they are in 2021.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well, they need to make money somehow from the exams to pay for the software license.

      Delete
    2. Can you write, what you wrote here, to EPO? :)

      Delete
    3. Minced candidate15 March 2021 at 20:06

      If they plan to grind candidates for their exam fees we have a major problem. We had a lot of candidates signed up for this meat grinder and to say the least they are not happy. When people are hired they also sign up for taking the EQE - realistically they have no idea what this is and how hard this is. If this continues they will just leave.

      Delete
  6. Article 9 (2) EPC
    Liability
    The non-contractual liability of the Organisation in respect of any damage caused by it or by the employees of the European Patent Office in the performance of their duties shall be governed by the law of the Federal Republic of Germany.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I truly hope the Exam committee consider the exceptional circumstances we all found ourselves in this year. It is not easy doing the exam online for the first time and do papers online, as we have just witness in the EQE week.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I HAVE AN IDEA:

    COMPENSATION FOR THE TWO-PART PAPERS:
    a) if the total amount of marks of the candidate is not enough for a “pass”; double the amount of marks obtained in one part. I believe that many candidates performed better in the second part of D1 and in the second part of C. Note, that the first part can also be compensated based on the second. This improves the situation, but only for well-prepared candidates who were victims of the stress in D1 and victims of the size+stress of C.

    Of course, this does not change anything for candidates who had enough marks to pass based on the total amount.

    If a candidate performed badly in all parts, there will be no “free marks”.

    So if the candidate had 10 marks in part 1 of C, and 25 marks in part 2.
    10+25= 35 not enough to pass based on total amount
    Compensation applies: part having the highest score is doubled. So Part 2 is multiplied by 2. Thus: 2x25= 50, pass.

    COMPENSATION FOR D2 and A:
    To be decided on a case-by-case basis.

    COMPENSATION FOR B:
    No marks for polemic amendments. Redistribution of marks to clear-cut parts of the paper.
    Basis for amendments: marks for the argumentation.
    Novelty and inventive step: correction in view of the amendments made by the candidate.

    WHAT DO YOU THINK?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. your idea is good, but only D paper would be compensated, because of the language issue. If we even get compensation for paper C, A or B, EQE would become a joke and lose its value....

      Delete
    2. sounds good... a type of compensation that is somehow still based on the performance of the candidate and not simply distributing marks.

      Delete
    3. There probably will be some sort of consideration for papers A, B and C as it was clear that the papers were not adequately adapted for the current e-EQE format. It will probably be on a case by case basis.

      Delete
    4. to the third Anonymous, where did you get this information?
      I am also worried about my A, B and C.

      Delete
    5. I completely agree, and hope we will get enough support from our firms and national offices. The D1-1 language problem was just one (and not the worse) problem. The structure of paper C was definitely a major problem, rendering it almost impossible to handle the paper properly.

      Delete
    6. I agree with Anonymous 16 March 2021 at 10:33, most likely there will only a compensation for D1-1. Although we, the candidates, find paper B was very hard and badly drafted, the EPO will consider the quality of the paper similar to the papers of the years before.

      Delete
    7. I do not agree that "the EPO will consider the quality of the paper similar to the papers of the years before".

      The Examination Board is not deaf for comments from candidates and tutors!
      The bad drafting of the B paper and the big difference in style and character contrary to what we were told has been voiced by many of us, and that can not and will not be ignored, and will in some way or another be taken into account in the marking.

      Delete
  9. The EQE will become a joke if on top of preparing for the content we have to be lucky and not have technical problems. The problem of D1.1 was not the only issue of the eEQE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The D1-1 was definitely not the major issue of the EQE. The split paper C and the fact of having the most relevant parts of the papers only on screen was definitely an even worse inconvenient.

      Delete
    2. I do not agree that the structure of Paper C was a major problem. The structure of Paper C was somehow similar to the ones presented in mock 1 and mock 2. With respect to DP solutions, one can see thaht indeed less writing was expected compared to the second part of paper C.

      I agree thaht having all prior art already for part 1 of paper C requires a lot of time for reading. However, since we had the prior art during the break we had additional time for reading in the break. Nonetheless, I found that much more time is needed for doing paper c online.

      In my opinion the major problem was paper B, which was very badly drafted and absolutely not adapted to the online format. I am to 90% sure thaht I failed this paper, because i spent too much time with minor issues regarding the claims and TPO. Additionally, it appears thaht noone knows which is the best way to amend the claims in paper b.

      Delete
    3. Your argument "The structure of Paper C was somehow similar to the ones presented in mock 1 and mock 2, so it was not a major problem" does not hold, as it supposes that the structure of mock 1 and mock 2 was OK... The all-prior-art-in-part-1 approach suggests that you know it all by heart after you read it, and that you can read the prior art in an efficient way without knowing the claims you need to attack in part two - that is a wrong assumption. I suggest you read the blogs on those mocks for more comments by many candidates. Moreover, there were major differences compared to mock 1 and mock 2.

      Delete
    4. I agree with Anonymous 17 March 2021 at 07:59 that major problem was paper B. It was indeed very badly drafted and absolutely not adapted to the online format, and indeed noone knows which is the best way to amend the claims in paper B.

      Delete
    5. Absolutely, the "real" paper C could not be compared to mocks 1 and 2. I really struggled and completely failed due to the confusion I had, and it was the paper I felt somehow more confident with.

      Paper B had issues as well, first of all being so badly written with some amendments in the "marked-up" copy that were not marked-up at all, further than being definitely too long when compared to the available time.

      I truly hope, that this will be taken into account in the marking process.

      Delete
    6. Step b of Claim 4 as filed was:
      b. optionally, adjusting the moisture of the refuse;

      In the amended claims, claim 4 was renumbered as claim 5, and step b was:
      b. optionally, adjusting the moisture of the refuse by spraying water on said refuse;

      The added "by spraying water on said refuse" was not indicated as an amendment in the English and German versions, while it was in the French version.

      Delete
    7. True...how could this diference between the EN/DE and FR paper B be missed during prepration? This actually makes a huge difference, as indicating an amendment signals to the candidate that there needs to be some kind of amendment.

      Paper B was just a bad joke.

      Delete
    8. As mentioned earlier, it was clear the papers were not checked adequately or sufficiently this year. I do not know why that's the case but mistakes/errors/lack of clarity in text and timing issues were big factors this year.

      Delete
    9. Claim 1 of the DE version of Paper C says: "mit einem Haltemitteln" (singular and plural at the same time!!)
      It is clear that no proofreading happened here as such a bad mistake in the main claim of a paper C would have attracted somebodies attention immeadiately!
      EPO just doesn't give a ***

      Delete
    10. Another example of inadequate translation in paper B

      Claim 6 in the German version reads; "a. Festlegung eines Zielwerts ZW zu einem Zeitpunkt zp > 0 für die zu diesem Zeitpunkt zp im Abfall (7) vorhandene Menge von Regenwürmern (8)"

      Claim 6 in the English version reads: "a. defining a target value TV at time point tp > 0 for the amount of the earthworms (8) present in the refuse (7) at said time point tp".

      In the English version, it reads "the amount of the earthworms (8)". Thus, in the German version, it should read "die (...) Menge der Regenwürmer (8)", i.e. the definite article is missing.

      Delete
  10. Reading all prior art in C-1 is indeed a MAJOR problem. C-1 and C-2 (each 3 hrs) looks like two separate C papers to me (C of 5.5 hrs). Though you need to write less (less claims to attack) but read the same as you had to read in 5.5 hrs.

    In C-2 you have new claims, new description. Though you had read the A2-A6 already but you need to read them again in view of the new information (new claims).

    Making use of breaks is not suitable for every candidate. So we can not generalize it that breaks are of help. Breaks are for breaks and not for reading prior art!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Though you had read the A2-A6 already but you need to read them again in view of the new information (new claims)" and "Though you need to write less per part (less claims to attack) but read the same as you had to read in 5.5 hrs": absolutely true!

      Delete
  11. With the newly styled b and c papers in this year, well-prepared candidates are absolutely put into a disadvantage compared to those who are not well-prepared, because well-prepared candidates spent much more time on carefully working on the previous papers, as this year's papers were expected to be in line with the syllabus of the previous papers. However, contrary to the promise, the papers b and c this year do not follow the syllabus at all. Thus, this makes no difference if you are well-prepared or not. It is really unfair and disappointing!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Pretty much every aspect of paper B was a disgrace. It was like someone at the EPO said "can someone write a much more difficult paper B please" and then no one had done so by the morning of the exam, so one person put together a first draft in 20 minutes and that exam was sent out.

    Paper C was nearly fine, IMO. For me personally it was a decent paper but the timings were not correct. The time was split 50/50 but anyone can immediately see the amount of work required was not split 50/50. A 60/40 or 55/45 split on time for that paper C would have brought it in line with previous years. Part 1 was very rushed as a result.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I agree that paper B was not at all a fair and appropriate paper, especially after cancellation the year before. I believe that this fiasco prominently shows that candidates are in dire need of a "lobby" group, as the EPO apparently does not seem to grasp or care what impact this exam has on candidates' careers and their family life.

    I feel disappointed by the lack of effort put into the exams.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Candidates will be declared PASS according to an obscure rule and those will no longer complain.
    The fairest would be to make a real lottery.
    They want to make believe that it is a very selective examination, by failing competent candidates artificially.
    They give you as many documents as possible to look at, on a technical field that is not yours, and they don't give you the time necessary for it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh please! All papers had problems. Just because you did it well it does not mean that it was fair or suitable for the online style. Make sure your comments here are constructive and helpful to improve the eEQE for the next years and not to inflate your EGO. One simple technical issue increased the level of stress that make it impossible to cope with a long paper. This goes without mentioning that this is an exam week! A candidate having technical problems each and every day reaches a level of stress that a candidate simply being lucky cannot reach. Furthermore, if the break is part of the exam than make it part pf the exam.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree that papers B and C were badly drafted and not adequately adapted online. I would also say paper A was not well drafted either and certainly, the way it was written, is not in line with previous papers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which aspects of paper c would you say were badly drafted?

      Delete
    2. the subject matter of paper C was IMO far too complex for those who are not in the field. In addition, it was very confusing reading the prior art documents at the start without all claims and description viewable. They could have stripped back alot of the content in the first part to ensure better understanding. It was also clear the split was not taken into account as the paper was unbalanced.

      Delete
    3. I also had to re-read the prior art documents in C2 so timing-wise, it did not work for me in C.

      Delete
  17. I think the problems this year is that these papers were clearly not tested before with the current online format. Had it was tested, there is no way papers B and C would be in its current format and probably a revised version of paper A.

    It would have been clear to testers that papers B and C were unbalanced and unrealistic to do within the time frame. Further, there were many errors in the papers this year especially in paper B.

    So I would be interested to know if testers actually test the papers online before it was given to candidates this year.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The split of paper C confused me. I was unable to finish part 1, as I lost an important amount of time to scan and understand the annexes... then I lost time trying to see if 54(3) is novelty destroying. I believe I would have performed somehow better without the split into two parts. This could make a difference at the limit between passing and failing the exam.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The new online browser configuration was probably not taken into account for paper B.

    On-screen reading of important parts of the assignment, the need to jump back and forth between pages within one big single PDF file, associated with very limited editing options was quite cumbersome and took a lot of extra time. The 3.5 hours given were too short considering these extraordinary difficulties.

    When drafting paper B, it should have been realized that 7 pages of application docs including 3 independent claims with extensive amendments by the client would require quite a long added subject-matter assessment. Even if the 4 prior art documents (3 + TPO) could be printed out, it couldn't compensate for the longer time needed to analyse the application for amendments. Constant switching was required for comparing the application with the client's letter in combination with the client's amendments, when only one page at a time was visible on the screen.

    The time lost could not be used on the more important inventive step reasoning, which is considered the core of the exam. It was probably not the best choice to increase the difficulty of the added subject-matter part this year, when already the task of navigating through different parts of a document on a screen was an obstacle in itself.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I believe that the EPO will tolerate a higher fail rate this year, since the "filter" of the preexamination has been skipped last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think so too. If on average 25% of Pre Exams fail, then 200 2020 Pre-Exam sitters now sat main exam and will be accepted if those all fail. Also candidates that failed Pre Exam in earlier years, 50? Together estimate 250 extra candidates that fail per paper compared to normal years where all candidates passed the Pre Exam before taking main. So pass rate lower.

      Delete
    2. Why introduce pre-EQE if they nilly willy passed them. The best thing was to surely get everyone to resist their papers again. EQE 2020 candidates didn't get anything and in fact, this year main EQE papers were the worse compared to previous years.

      Delete
    3. It was due to EPO's rules which were already in place before covid. In there it said something like "In case there is a preexamination the year before EQE then having passed this is a necessary requirement for the participation in the EQE".

      So they we're unable to make people resit the preexamination due to their own rules. Otherwise I believe they would have.

      Delete
    4. I wonder if the people who fail in this years EQE and did not have to take the pre-EQE before, i.e. who never passed the pre-EQE, may resit the EQE 2022 again without having to do the pre-EQE?

      Delete
    5. E-mail from EQE Helpdesk of 30 April 2020:
      ---
      Please note that your right to be admitted directly to the main examination will only remain valid if you enrol for at least one of the examination papers A, B, C, or D 2021. If you do not enrol, you will forgo this right and will be required to sit and pass the pre-examination before being able to enrol to any future main examinations.

      If you enrol and subsequently decide to withdraw or do not show up for the examination, your right to be admitted directly to all future main examinations will remain valid. If you decide to withdraw from all papers for which you were enrolled and notice of withdrawal is received before 30 September 2020, all fees apart from the enrolment fee, will be reimbursed. After this date, no refunds will be possible.
      ---

      In short, you will not be required to sit the pre-EQE if you failed the main EQE this year.

      Delete
    6. Nobody PASSED the Pre-Exam of 2020. Candidates were allowed to sit the main exam this year without the need to have passed any Pre-Exam.

      Delete
  21. The more candidates fail, the more appeals will be filed... due to the numerous issues, especially in paper B, chances for succeeding might not be so bad after all...

    ReplyDelete
  22. I hope they are already working on the eEQE 2022... eEQE 2021 was a mere Mock 4.

    ReplyDelete
  23. No point having mock exams if the real exam are completely different to the mocks. I didn't find any of the mocks useful in the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. I did all the Mocks and - except the fact that I am definitely not comfortable in having documents to handle only on screen with no hard copies (but maybe it is a mere personal issue - I found them reasonable. Paper C (which for me is the worst point in all this) went smooth as well as papers A and B. I struggled a bit in D1, but maybe it is just another personal issue that I have to speed up. But the "real" papers were pretty distant from the Mocks. Again, paper C in that way is just crazy.

      Delete
    2. I agree - the mocks were nothing like the real exams so everyone can keep taking the mocks and it won't help much with the real exams. It is clear that they did not account for the online format.

      Delete
    3. That is a good point. The mocks were little reflection to the real exams. Look at paper B - completely different. Paper C - soo different and unbalanced. Paper D felt ok but I still feel D2 was slightly longer than usual. Paper A was very badly drafted for the main exams.

      Delete
  24. Have you guys also received the invitation to participate in the second survey for EQE 2021 from EPO? I am wondering what is the purpose and the difference compared with the first survey?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I received invitation for a second survey. Probably the first has been done by very few people this is why they need a second one for a more vaste response

      Delete
    2. I just finished the survey and provided my detailed comments including taking into account the technical background of a candidate when marking the paper e.g. paper C. I am a chemist....

      Delete
    3. Papers B and C were undoable properly for majority of candidates and paper A needed checking/some parts re-writing to make it clearer. That was my feedback. For Paper C, the subject matter was too specific and it would take a non-mechanical person a lot longer to understand the subject matter.

      There is no sufficient balance, checks and adaptability this year.

      Delete
  25. The survey had so many questions directed to C... Quite strange. Preparation for C based on real cases... I dont know what conclusion they want to draw based on this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. probably to understand or justify the disaster that we experienced with paper C exam...

      Delete
    2. If that is the case then they should know in real life, attorneys would have days to prepare for an opposition with many people involved.

      Delete
    3. @J yes! when I read those questions of the survey, I had the feeling that they somehow lead to a conclusion that the supervisor of candidates may not provide enough trainings on opposition for the candidates. It is true that I never wrote a complete oppostion by myself in real life. Well, my law firm gets very few orders for oppostions, maybe three or four per year and normally an experienced attorney would take the job as these orders are usually urgent. A candidate may only help to look for prior art documents and make a feature map bewteen claims and pior art. However, I worked through the C book from Deltapatent thoroughly, praticed with 6 old C-papers & studied the examination's reports for those old papers afterwards carefully, and made serveral templates for different types of attacks, arguments, document discussions, etc. I don't believe the real-life training suggested in the survey would be more helpful than my own preparation for passing EQE C paper which is not related to real-life at all in my opinion.

      Delete
    4. Most questions are the same as in the surveys of the other years, such as the C questions. Only the questions relating to the online exam were new.

      Delete
    5. As an example, this was the ToC of the EQE Survey 2017:

      Introduction
      Chapter 1 - Examination Centres
      1.1 Berlin
      1.2 Berne
      1.3 Helsinki
      1.4 Madrid
      1.5 Munich DPMA
      1.6 Munich M,O,C
      1.7 Paris
      1.8 Rome
      1.9 Stockholm
      1.10 Taastrup
      1.11 The Hague
      1.12 Walsall

      Chapter 2 - Preparation for the EQE
      Q7) Which examination papers did you sit?
      Q8) Examiners' report in the Compendium – rating:
      Q9) Elements of your personal preparation:
      Q10) What other books and/or study aids did you use?
      Q11) Which course(s) did you follow?
      Q12) Which other elements did you consider important for your personal preparation for the EQE?
      Q13) How long before sitting the EQE did you start intensive focused study?
      Q14) What was your greatest weakness when assessing your preparation for the EQE and your performance, and how, in retrospect, could you have overcome it?
      Q15) Do you have comments or suggestions for other candidates preparing for the EQE?

      Chapter 3 - Training/Employment under Article 11(2)(a) REE
      Q16) In which EPC member state did you complete most of your training according to Art. 11(2)(a) REE?
      Q17) I completed most of the training (Art 11(2)(a) REE) in …
      Q18) How would you rate the support of your employer in view of your preparation for the EQE?
      Q19) How much time did your employer allow for attending courses for your preparation for the EQE?
      Q20) How would you rate the amount of time allowed by your employer for participation in courses?
      Q21) How much time did you spend on dedicated training for the EQE with your supervisor as defined by Art.11(2)(a) REE (i.e. the person who signed your certificate of training or employment)?
      Q21a) Which percentage of the working days mentioned under 21a) did you spend during the first year of training?
      Q21b) Which percentage of the working days mentioned under 21a) did you spend during the second year of training?
      Q21c) Which percentage of the working days mentioned under 21a) did you spend during the third year of training?
      Q22) What would you suggest to supervisors in order to improve candidates' preparation for the EQE?
      Q23) In how many opposition cases were you involved during your 3-year training period?
      Q24) How did your supervisor as defined by Art. 11(2)(a) REE train you for paper C?
      Q25) How did you prepare for paper C apart from the training you received from your supervisor?

      Chapter 4 - EQE papers
      Q26) Which of the following best describes the technical area you are working in?
      Q27) EQE papers - Please rate the difficulty of the examination papers you sat in 2017
      Q27a) What reference book was the most useful for the preparation of the pre-examination?
      Q27b) What reference book was the most useful while sitting the pre-examination?
      Q27c) How did you allocate the available time during the pre-examination?
      Q27d) What is your opinion about the time available for the pre-examination paper you sat in 2017?
      Q27e) Any comment on the pre-examination?
      Q28) Please rate the difficulty of the main examination paper(s) you sat in 2017
      Q29) Additional comments concerning the difficulty of the main examination papers
      Q30) Did you feel time pressure during the examination?
      Q31) What is your opinion about the time available for each of the main examination paper you sat in 2017?
      Q31a) Do you think that the additional thirty minutes have improved your performance in the main examination paper(s) you sat?
      Q31b) Do you think that even more time would have improved your performance in the main examination paper(s) you sat?
      Q32) Do you have any comments concerning the time available for the examination papers?

      Chapter 5 - Training from the European Patent Academy
      Q33) How would you rate the following learning materials provided by the European Patent Academy?
      Q34) Please add any comments and suggestions regarding the learning materials mentioned above

      Delete
    6. I believe that accompanying our colleagues to opposition and appeal proceedings ist one of the most important parts of the on the job education. Luckily although the firm I work at is relatively small (currently 5 European Patent Attorneys) we have many oppositions and appeals (about 40-50 each year). This means that we trainees are heavily involved in the preparations etc. and often are allowed to come by.

      However, I found it very disappointing from some colleagues on the opposing side who insisted that I am not allowed to speak in the oral proceedings because I have not finished the education yet. According to the rules the opposing side has to agree. Interestingly it were always French attorneys who declined me. All other nationalities I dealt with (German, Italian, Austrian) always were fine with it.

      Delete
    7. The 2019 survey added these:

      Chapter 6 – EQE on a computer
      Q35) Would you welcome the opportunity to write your EQE answers on a computer?
      Q36) What advantages/disadvantages do you see in writing your EQE answers on a computer?
      Q37) Would you be prepared to travel a long distance to be able to sit the EQE on a computer?
      Q38) If a computer-based examination were introduced, would you as a candidate be prepared to participate moderately in the costs?

      See page 173 and further in "Results of the survey concerning the European qualifying examination 2019 (PDF, 3.3 MB)" at the bottom of the EQE Notices and Downloads page (https://www.epo.org/learning/eqe/notices.html), or directly: http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponot.nsf/0/AE5EC13DA044FDFEC12583F400437F50/$File/Survey_2019_results_publication.pdf

      Delete
    8. yes, I am in favour for online exams but not with this awful e-EQE format where formatting becomes the main issues with the exams and lack of basic IT functionality with the system hampers candidates abilities.

      Delete
  26. is it true that this was not from the EQE but hacker attempt? I will not reply until I have clarification.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What?? Where did you hear this?

      Delete
    2. No, it was a genuine survey from the EQE secretariat.

      Please do not generate any unnecessary and unfounded rumours.

      Delete
    3. When comparing the survey with earlier years, it shows that the current survey is the one that takes places every year after the EQE, comprising a standard set of questions that allows the EQE to do statistical comparison over the years. Next to that standard set, a new section on digital aspects was added, which in part derives from the previous survey adapted to the e-EQE format and system and which further allows to identify the needs and expectations of candidates for the future.

      Delete
  27. It is sad that the exams this year especially papers A, B and C did not, in my view, account for the significant changes and difficulties over the last year. It seems little thought, consideration or preparation went into adapting the papers appropriately online to accommodate the changes and little consideration given for candidate's time and effort. For example, doing 3 mocks is not normal and takes away very valuable time prior to the exams itself. It has been well documented how confusing, difficult and time-constraint papers A, B and C were this year. Paper D seemed ok (apart from the IT glitches) but I suspect the adaptation was accounted i.e. 50:50 DI/DII before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

    I understand the EPO had a massive job in moving the exams online within a year but spare the biggest thought to candidates who have to deal with IT requirements, admin requirements, adapt to changes in policies and guidelines and doing the exams under extremely challenging circumstances.

    I hope the EQE committees recognise and understand the challenges faced by candidates. There is nothing like this in any other years that have gone by.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Papers A, B and C were the hardest set of papers in recent memory.

      Delete
    2. In particular paper B was a disgrace for the EQE committee and is not worthy to be called a qualifying exam - in my opinion paper B was a bad joke. I expect record numbers of appeals this year!

      Delete
    3. This year has not been good for candidates. The anxiety level was very bad this year especially before taking the new examination process and the terrible papers themselves - papers B and C particularly made it much worse.

      Delete
    4. It was difficult and very stressful. After the total disaster in D, I went to the other papers with a high pressure thinking... "I have to do the rest very well so that I can compensate D".... one disaster after the other... one day worse than the next.... a real nightmare... after so much preparation... I still feel the panic when I remember the exam week.

      Delete
    5. The IT hipcup did not help for paper D but i found A,B and C much worse as it mainly confused me and the online format did not really suit. Having anxiety attacks now and again still even though its one month ago. It was just an awful set of papers in extremely challenging circumstances.

      Delete
  28. Paper B was NOT doable within 3.5 hours. Paper C new format was terrible and did not work with the new system. Paper A had so many confusing and conflicting statements in them. I don't know if this was done on purpose but it doesn't give a good impression at all and the papers felt rushed and hastily put together.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I know many candidates want to move exams online - me included. However, the wiseflow product is subpar and wholly unsuitable to be used for EQEs. Alot of the word functionality was not available. The formatting, copy and paste functionality was poor. No highlighting whatsoever.

    The EQE committee have provided a very poor quality product for candidates. They are ultimately responsible for the incompatibility of the wiseflow platform. The EQE committee really need to step up and build or source a much better online platform. Otherwise, I suggest we go back to paper format but note that the EQE committee have not done a good job at all with the online format. Yes, they had to move to online given the circumstances but they also had over a year to sort it out.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Paper A was absolutely confusing with too many conflicting statements.

    Paper B was impossible to do with TPO and computer implemented inventions where I would say 50% of candidates would never look at or amend such claims in their careers.

    Paper C split was horrible and the subject was clearly not accessibly to all candidates.

    Paper D mess up in DI is well documented and would have an impact on the rest of the week.

    I did not think the EQEs 2021 went smoothly at all.

    ReplyDelete