Thursday, 25 February 2010

Good Luck on the EQE !!!

- get to the exam on-time
- take a suitcase on wheels for your D library
- don't panic. think simple
the papers are designed so that all 1600 candidates can answer them 

- 2010 results are under the new EQE compensation system,
so 45 points is probably enough for 1 or 2 papers

Monday, 22 February 2010

Take your own calendars to the D-exam?

I frequently get asked about taking your own calendars - you can highlight holidays and weekends in advance, for example.

Preparation of your own calendars takes some time, so you need to balance this investment with any benefit and the risk. You have to decide which years to take, and try not to make any mistakes.

Some people either take the ones from the relevant OJEPO,
or they use the DeltaPatents ones, which we provide are for use with our training materials.
We recommend on balance that you should not use your own calendars

You will get EQE calendars with the DI and DII papers, and these are the only ones you will need to answer the papers. Normally you will get them for 2 or 3 different years.


– if there is a mistake in your calendars (usually a missing holiday or a holiday on the wrong day), the exam committee will not know why you gave the wrong answer.
- if there is a mistake in the official EQE calendars (which has happened before) then the exam committee will see this and correct the marking accordingly.  

Good luck next week

Monday, 15 February 2010

EPC1973 Ancillary Regulations

The EPO has removed the Ancillary Regulations EPC1973 from their web site. As I pointed out, many of the references have been superseded, so probably the EPO feels that making old references available is confusing for users.

They suggest accessing the references via the on-line EPC and OJEPO's, but that is rather time-consuming if you are looking for a number of references.

See here for my earlier post on why you may need this document for the EQE 2010.

Purely for study purposes, I have made the document available as:

1. The complete EPC1973 Ancillary Regulations book
2. Only the section "Legal Advices" from the back

These links point to the DeltaPatents web-site.

Non-EPC law for the EQE

Someone asked me what they need to know about US, JP, KR, CN patent law.

The Examination Board has provided the PCT Applicants Guide - you can, in principle be asked about the national entry requirements found in National Phase part, per state. For each state an overview is given of the requirements. I have limited the list that I think could possible be relevant to:
- National chapters for biggest offices CN, EP, JP, KR, US
- "National" chapters for other regions: AP, EA, OA
- National chapters for all EPC members states; and all Extension states (AL, BA, RS)
- National chapters for top 15 dO/eO's not yet mentioned: AU, BR, CA, IL, IN, MX, NZ, RU, SG, ZA

You never need to cite the national legal basis - only EPC / PCT and PC is required.

US and JP
Officially (from Art.13 REE), you are expected to know
(b) the United States of America and Japan to the extent that they are of importance in connection with
proceedings before the EPO.
This is rather vague, but the assumption is that you encounter these topics during your 3 years of practical experience. The topics you should know something about are:

  • 1 year grace period to file from a disclosure
  • Interference
  • First to invent (generally)
  • Inventors are applicants (see also PCT)
  • Information disclosure statement (IDS)
  • Continuing patent application (continuations and continuations-in-part)
  • Possibility to patent business methods
  • Doctrine of equivalence
  • Provisional applications
  • Attorney-client privilege as implemented in EPC (Art.134a(1)(d), R.153)

  • 6 month grace period to file from a disclosure
You do not need to know the details. It is more about knowing the possibilities under US and JP law which are different from the EPC. You never need to cite US or JP national law of office guidelines.

Unfortunately, I do not have a single document dealing with these points. However, a good resource is Wikipedia for the US and JP. This is about the level you need to know it.

Friday, 12 February 2010

For qualified attorneys - continous education

It is hard to find time to keep up with the changes in the law, and recent case law. We read everything and pick out the important things so you don't have to ;-)

We are organising a Patent Law update in Utrecht, NL on 8 March 2010.
Utrecht is about 20 minutes in the train from Amsterdam Schiphol airport.

This is an updated version of the seminar of 11/11/09, focussing on:
- The Raising The Bar program, and the changes for 1 April 2010 (divisionals/amendments/responding to search opinion), 1 Jan 2011 and beyond
- The PCT changes on 1 July 2010
- Recent case law and current referrals to the Enlarged Board
- Lessons learned from the Petition For Review

As with any changes in the law, we focus on the practical implications rather than the changes in the articles and rules. We also give advice how to deal with the changes in your daily work.
For more details, see here

If preferred, we can also provide an in-house version, tailored to your requirements. We can also provide discussions on case law topics not covered here. Please contact us for more details

Mock pre-exam - questions & answers

The Examination Board has published the questions and answers from the mock Pre-Exam, held last week.
As they indicate, this may not necessarily reflect the final format.

It comprises some legal questions based on the DI 2007, and some claim interpretation based on A 2004.
So, for anybody preparing for EQE2010, you may want to do it as an extra check during your preparation.
The questions of DI 2007 (and answers) have been updated with more recent dates.
The questions are here in German / English / French. An answer sheet is provided on the last page
The answers are here

Monday, 1 February 2010

Potential exam questions EQE 2010 - from OJEPO and PCT NL

I get asked many times what I think will be on the D exam. Most of the questions and issues will be based upon the core of the EPC, which changes little.
However, they also like to ask questions based on things that have been published and changed “recently”.

These "recent changes" can be found in the OJEPO and PCT Newsletters of 2008 and 2009. It does take sometime to go through them,but you learn a lot by reading them and deciding what is relevant.You should read these and take them with you to the exam. Note that many of these OJEPO notices/decisions are also provided in the appendix to Jelle Hoekstra’s book.

It is dangerous to make predictions, but from all the "recent changes", the following seem the most important and most likely to be asked:
  1. the EPC changes of 1/4/09 (especially OJ 2009, 118)
  2. G1/05 & G1/06 (OJ 2008, 271)
  3. G1/05 Interlocutory decision (OJ 2007, 362)
  4. G2/06 (OJ 2009, 306)
  5. the decisions of the Board of Appeal indicated below,especially T1178/04
  6. London Agreement (National Law Table IV) (OJ 2008, 123)
  7. Newest EPC states (NO, HR, MK, SM) (OJ 2007, 531/OJ 2007, 637/OJ 2008, 507/OJ 2009, 396
  8. Oral proceedings (OJ 2009, 68)
  9. Electronic filing (OJ 2009, 182)
  10. Filing priority document (OJ 2009, 236)
  11. Filing by reference (supplying copy) (OJ 2009, 486)
  12. Search & exam fees (OJ 2007, 642 / 2008, 12  / 2008, 521 / 2009, 96 / 2009, 99)
  13. PCT agreement (OJ 2007, 617 / 2009, 206)
  14. PCT changes of 1/1/09 and 1/7/09 (see below)
  15. Also, there may be something on filing by reference R.40(2),(3) in general, because it was supposed to be in the DII 2009, but they took it out. This EPC2000 change has not yet been asked.
  16. Another thing not yet tested is the 2nd sentence of R.134(1). This actually happened in July 2009 - see OJ 2009, 79. You don't need to know this particular unavailability (they will put it on the exam calendar if required), just the general principle. 

WIPO presentations on recent changes

"Recently published" Board of Appeal Decisions:
T 439/06 - 3.5.01 - Electronic trading system/REUTERS (OJ 2007, 491)
" Re-establishment of rights (no)" - "All due care required by the representative (no)" - "Application of principle of proportionality (no)"
131 kB
T 1227/05 - 3.5.01 - Circuit simulation Infineon Technologies (OJ 2007, 574)
" Computer-implemented method with mathematical steps for simulating the performance of a circuit subject to 1/f noise - technical character (yes)"
" Undefined technical purpose - adequate for clarity (no)"
163 kB
T 154/04 - 3.5.01 - Estimating sales activity / DUNS LICENSING ASSOCIATES (OJ 2008, 46)
" Requirement of invention -- method, main request (no)" - "Requirement of invention -- method, auxiliary request 1 (yes)" - "Inventive step -- system, main and auxiliary requests 1 to 3 (no)" - "Amendments -- claim 1, auxiliary requests 4 and 5 (inadmissible)" -"Remittal for further prosecution (refused)" - "Referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (refused)"
252 kB
" Purported new opponent a 'party to proceedings' (yes)" - "Admissibility of purported opponent's appeal (yes)" - "Ruling on transfer of opponent status a 'decision' of the Opposition Division (yes)" - "Proprietor adversely affected by decision (no)" - "Proprietor not adversely affected by decision prevented from presenting arguments relating to validity of transfer of opponent status (no)" - "Reformatio in peius (not applicable)" - "Validity of transfer of opponent status (no)" - "Remittal to Opposition Division (yes)" - "Reimbursement of appeal fee (no)"
213 kB
T 263/05 - 3.2.06 - Laser welding/HONDA GIKEN KOGYO K.K. (OJ 2008, 329)
"Novelty and inventive step of one independent claim and its dependent claims (yes)" - "Amendments prohibited by Rules 57a or 29(2) EPC (no)" - "Amendments to description (allowed)" - "Amendment of a party's case to introduce a new line of argument in appeal proceedings after filing of reply (not allowed)" - "Extent of duty of board of appeal to examine claims ex officio (Article 114(1) EPC)" - "Extent of power of Board acting ex officio under Article 111(1) EPC to remit a case to the opposition division" - "Remittal of case to opposition division (no)" - "Requests to record matters in minutes (refused)"
409 KB
T 1093/05 - 3.5.01 - Multiplier circuit/Infineon Technologies (OJ 2008, 430)
"Interpreting a decision to grant a patent" – "Correction of a decision to grant a patent (no)" – "Amendments after the communication under Rule 51(4)"
125 KB
J 10/07 - 3.1.01 - Subsequent filing of drawings/AMAZONEN-WERKE (OJ 2008, 567)
"Transitional provisions of the EPC 2000" - "Subsequent filing of drawings not contained in the original application; re-dating of the application (no)" - "Substantial procedural violation (yes)" - "Reimbursement of appeal fee (yes)" - "Protection of legitimate expectations"  
217 KB
J 3/06 - 3.1.01 - transitional provisions/HEITKAMP (OJ 2009, 170)
"Applicability of Rule 56 EPC to filings made before its entry into force - no" - "Valid claiming of priority - no" 
90 KB 
T 307/03 - 3.3.07 - ARCO/Double patenting (OJ 2009, 422)
"Principle of prohibition of double patenting - applicable under EPC (yes)" - "Later claim more broadly formulated - double patenting prohibition applicable (yes)"
92 KB
T 1063/06 - 3.3.10 - Reach-through claim/BAYER SCHERING PHARMA AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT (OJ 2009, 516)
"All requests: reach-through claim - chemical compounds defined in functional terms - future inventions also claimed - limiting claim to actual contribution to art both reasonable and imperative - invention cannot be carried out within the entire scope claimed without undue effort - research programme"
110 KB