Friday, 12 November 2021

Calendars for EQE 2022

In the past, calendars were provided to candidates as part of the D and Pre-Exam papers. Those integrated calendars did not necessarily cover all EPO closing days. This meant that some days, on which the EPO filing offices were actually closed (e.g., bridging days), were not always indicated as closing days in the exam calendars. Candidates had to answer the papers solely on the basis of the calendars in the examination papers (see former Notice from the Examination Board dd 18 July 2013).

For EQE 2022, the situation will be different, as candidates and tutors that use Wiseflow for the Mocks currently available may already have spotted. Instead of a calendar, Wiseflow provides a pdf with information about the calendars indicating:

Important notice for candidates: Use of calendars
For the EQE 2022 the basis for calculating time limits are the days on which the EPO filing offices are closed as published in the Official Journal. Candidates are encouraged to have the closing days of 2020, 2021 and 2022 at hand during the examination. No calendars will be provided with the examination papers.

The Examination Board also published a Notice to this effect - see Notice dated 19 November 2021. The Notice provides (emphasis added):

Calendars are a necessary tool for calculating time limits, in particular where Rule 134(1) EPC, first sentence, applies. According to this provision, time limits expiring on a day on which at least one EPO filing office is not open for receipt of documents (closing day) are extended until the first day thereafter on which all the filing offices are open for receipt of documents and on which ordinary mail is delivered.

As of the 2022 examination, the practice concerning calendars will change: calendars will no longer be provided to candidates as part of the examination papers for the pre-examination and Paper D.

A notice listing the dates on which the EPO filing offices are closed is published each year in the Official Journal. For the purposes of applying Rule 134(1), first sentence, EPC and Rule 80.5 PCT, candidates should refer to the relevant notice on EPO closing days. They will be able to access the EPO website for this during the exam.

Candidates are allowed to use their own calendar to identify dates falling on a Saturday or Sunday. 

This notice supersedes the notice from the Examination Board dated 18 July 2013 concerning the use of calendars.