Tuesday, 7 March 2017

D 2017: first impressions?


To all who sat the D-paper today:

What are your first impressions to this year's D-paper? Any general or specific comments?

Were the topics well balanced in the DI-part?
Was the balance between EPC and PCT right for you? Substantive topics in DI?
Which of the the DI Questions did you consider particularly difficult, and which relatively 'easy'?
Did you skip any DI-questions? if so, why? Too difficult, or allocating the time for another question?

Were the legal issues in the DII-part well doable? Patentability? Difficult priority analysis? Business situation and relevance clear? Exploitation?
Did errors with one of the legal issues or one of the patentability issues in DII have a big knock-on effect on the rest of the paper in your view (the D papers of the last four years were very well designed in this respect!)?

How much time did you allocate for DI, how much for DII?
Which part did you do first, DI or DII?
How many marks do you expect to have scored in the DI-part, in the DII-part, and for the whole D?
What is your expectation of the pass rate and the average score?
How did this year's D-paper compare to the D2013, D2014, D2015 and D 2016 (assuming your practiced those) - DI and DII-wise?

How did you use the extra 30 minutes that were available? Did you work longer on the DI or on the DII? How many marks do you expect to have scored extra thanks to those 30 minutes?

The paper and our answers

Copies of the D-paper will be provided on this blog as soon as we have received copies of the papers, in all three languages here (English, French and German).

The core of our answers is given in two separate blog posts: one for the DI-questions and another post for the DII-part.

We look forward to your comments!

Comments are welcome in any official EPO language, not just English. So, comments in German and French are also very welcome!



Please do not post your comments anonymously - it is allowed, but it makes responding more difficult and rather clumsy ("Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous of 03-03-2017 03:03"), whereas using your real name or a pseudonym is more personal, more interesting and makes a more attractive conversation. You do not need to log in or make an account - it is OK to just put your (nick) name at the end of your post.

Please post your comments as to first impressions and general remarks to the D-paper as a whole, and to the two parts (DI and DII) as whole part to this blog.

Please post substantial questions to specific DI questions to our DI post and DII-related questions to our DII post. Thanks!

51 comments:

  1. First time sitting the EQEs. I don't know how anyone managed without the extra half hour! I was writing almost continuously from the first minute to the last second, and wrote 22 pages (single spaced).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello,
    my second time. Wrote more than 30 pages. Doable paper.

    Restoration in D1 was quite hard. 10 points. I am glad that I had the 2010 model solution with me. Have used 3/4 of this answer.

    Wish you luck tomorrow and on Thursday.
    Hopefully, this was the last time for me. Who knows before the results.

    Patent-eeccke(eqe)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see where the 2010 paper could be used. To me the restoration was a question of applying R.26bis.3 PCT, as explained in AG-IP 5.062-5.064. I almost copied all of those paragraphs. Did not realise it was crystal clear explained as well in EPG (2016) https://www.epo.org/applying/international/guide-for-applicants/html/e/ga_b_33.html

      I hope I got that one right. I focused on DII but maybe failed it miserably.

      Delete
  3. Something made me loose a lot of time in DII: [007] says that the transfer was "registered with the EPO". But the same paragraph says twice that neither Mr. G nor ST paid any fees for the ST-EP2. I started wondering whether they had paid the administrative transfer fee of R.22(2), which is a fee related to ST-EP2... and I concluded that they had not, since the text insists in "no fee", so that the registration was not deemed filed. All colleagues I discussed it with said that they read the text as meaning "validly" registered.
    Am I the only one finding this passage misleading??

    After re-reading the paragraph [007] a couple of times I still think it is, at least, contradictory.

    This issue made me loose a lot of time and certainly some points in DII... Because of the delay in DII, I started DI when I only had 1:45 left, and as a consequence missed many more points in DI...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The paper says that the transfer was registered, so it was.
      The paper says that no fees were paid for the application. I donot consider this contradictory, as this clearly refers to fees for the application itself, not for registration of a transfer.
      But if you see it as an issue when reading the paper, it may be hard to get away from your initial reading and understanding...
      There is quite an effect if you donot consider the transfer to be valid: CHINABEAM then has valid priority for the content of ST-EP2 in CB-PCT, whereas now they have not and they cannot get protection for the ST-EP2 content...

      Delete
    2. Also, the validity of the transfer of priority right is completely independent of whether or not it was registered. There is no requirement for the applicants to be the same on the register for priority right to be transferred, i think.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for your reply Roel.
      Indeed...
      I (wrongly) interpreted a fee for registering a transfer of an application as a fee for the application, i.e. any fee related to the application.
      IMHO the wording in the paper is rather unfortunate. But questionning a statement ('registered') is never a good idea in the exam.

      Delete
  4. I read this in a way that G has not paid the filing and search fee. Your point is very serious. Have to check the paper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Transfer has been registered, so fee was paid. Filing and search fees have not been paid.

      Delete
    2. Right... it is the straightforward way to read it.
      But who paid the transfer fee? The text insists that Mr. G "had not paid any fees for ST-EP2" and that ST "paid no fees at all to the EPO for ST-EP2".
      This is why I say that it is contradictory and it made me hesitate...

      Delete
    3. G has not paid fees at all. Not ST!

      Delete
  5. Lots of work in D11, thoght I could do a D11 in 2,5h, but it took, I am ashamed to admit it, nearly 3,5h. Spent first half hour readin the D1, then started D11, so had about 1 hor to write D1, cant have passed, but its ok, I have trained as much as possible every hour available and some more. /Lin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you read the whole d1 first?
      Youshould read the first d1 question and start answering it. Subsequently, you should read the second question and answer it. There is no point in reading them all first, because then you will have to read all questions again. You lost 30 min, because of reading instead of answering.

      Delete
    2. You are right. I wanted to ger an overview of the topics, bad idea. /Lin

      Delete
  6. For DII:
    has anywone considered an opposition for BC-EP?

    Best Tom

    ReplyDelete
  7. I did recommend that.

    -Jay

    ReplyDelete
  8. For DI
    The questions were more broad and a bit more text to read. I really needed the 30 min extra. Wrote 54 Pages sometimes single line sometimes double lime.

    DII:
    Product-By Claims, I missed that BC-EP is only directed to method ... so it could block ST from producing but not selling.
    DII had many small details and more events in terms of dates. More difficult ... I have no idea ... definitely more difficualt than 2015

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It could prevent selling beams as the direct product of the process, no?

      Delete
    2. Isn't a product directly obtained from the process also protected in EPC in line with A.64(2)?

      Delete
    3. Priority of EP1 was valid. So CB-EP no prior right. Opposition against CB-EP was possible.

      Delete
  9. 54 Pages for DI and DII

    ReplyDelete
  10. Has anybody recommended filng of PCT-new claiming priority of EP2. This was still possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, but I recommended claiming priority from BOTH of EP2 and EP3. ShapeB claim would have EP2 effective date and ShapeB1 would have EP3 effective date.

      Delete
    2. Nice input.
      This makes only sense if CB-PCT will not enter EP phase.
      Have not considered this. Good point.
      Protection for Shape-B1 was potentially possible in EP for ST depending on the future regarding CB-PCT.
      Nice comment.

      Delete
  11. Isn't there some confusion here for CB-EP and ST-EP1?

    CB-EP "describes and claims a rolling process for forming metal beams by rolling a metal strip between a pair of rollers. ... no mention of teeth or projections".


    ST-EP1 - "describes and claims a metal beam having projections formed by rolling the metal strip between two rollers having teeth".

    No matter how you read the claims (as a process or a product-by-process claim) the products are different (at least in my opinion). So I don't think there's an issue with infringement???

    Also, while I'm here, I thought about filing the opposition against CB-EP but OLD-1 is the only prior art and relates to stamping to gain projections, not rolling (without projections).

    At least that's one down!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OLD1 may be considered as equivalent, so opposition based on A 56 possible.

      Delete
    2. I interpreted the rolling process in CB-EP as encompassing rolling using teeth. In that way, you can cite ST-EP1 as 54(3) prior art against CB-EP. Otherwise thee is nothing to say about CB-EP.

      Delete
    3. Yes, if you make a beam with projections of any shape you still carry out the process of CB-EP (forming a beam by rolling between rollers - the term "rollers" includes rollers with and without teeth), so it's vital that CB-EP is opposed and revoked if we want to do business in Europe! ST-EP1 was Art.54(3) art.

      Delete
    4. @Anonymous7 March 2017 at 18:00:
      Where in the paper do you see information that leads you to conclude that OLD1 is equivalent? Par.[005] clearly describes that the rolling process has many advantages, so the OLD1 process cannot be equivalent.

      Delete
    5. I had the same considerations as SG. The process from ST-GB1/ST-EPI is a specific rolling process using teeth so its novelty destroying against CB-EP already granted claim to the generic process. ST-EP1 was novelty destroying A.54(3) against CB-EP, so opposition was absolutely crucial for the client as otherwise he was infringing every time he produces any beam using any rolling process. /AK

      Delete
    6. Hello Roel,
      A56 was the only possibility to file an opposition based on OLD1. There is no other document that can be used.

      I considered the pair of rolls as an equivalent to a stamp.

      In the response letter it is said "with or without teeth".

      One should be careful not to provide arguments against EP1.

      My 2 cents.

      By the way, thanks to DP and your blog and your efforts.

      It would be further great if you would consider blogging 2 months prior to the exam. Such a part is missing in your blog. Up to date you just open blog discussions after the respective exam papers.

      Delete
    7. Hello unknown at 18:17,
      novelty cannot be used as EP1 is 54(3) document.
      Only A 56 can be used in my opinion.

      Delete
    8. How about arguing that CB-EP is not novel because par.2 of the text said that "it was widely accepted at that time beams without surf.imperfec. and PROJECTIONS would be stronger"? In other words, having no projections is widely used and considered as common general knowledge in 2013. CB-EP claims a process for forming metal beams (not mentioning beam having projections).

      Resitter 2020

      Delete
    9. A rolling process without teeth cannot be considered as a stamp process in my opinion.

      EP1 does not directly and unambiguously disclose a stamp process.

      I feel that a rolling process without teeth can only be equivalent to a stamp process.

      So, only an opposition under 56 EPC can be considered, because EP1 is a 54(3) document which is not relevant regarding inventive step.

      Delete
    10. A rolling process may mean that the whole metal sheet is reduced in thickness, i.e. not partially and locally like a stamp prcess in order to increase moment of inertia according to Steiner.

      Sorry, I am an mechanical engineer.

      Delete
    11. To Anonymous of 7 March 2017 at 18:39: Why can you not oppose CB-EP1 due to lack of novelty over ST-EP1, which has valid prio and this earlier date for the process. I think that is the way to go. Lack of inventive step over OLD1 does not seem to be supported by any fact in the paper - or did you see anything to support that?

      Delete
    12. The discussion on the DII is continued on the parallel blog with our answer and detailed discussions: http://eqe-d.blogspot.nl/2017/03/d-2017-metal-beams-having-projections.html

      Delete
  12. Has anybody suggested further processing for EP1, deleting SHAPE-A due to lack of novelty and therefore file amended claims deleting SHAPE-A and waiving further 71(3) in order to obtain patent EP1 quickly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes I did the same. I also added a claim towards a rolling process with teeth, which is not known and enjoys priority.

      Delete
    2. yes! or at least I think I did!! such a whirlwind rush I can't remember. I do remember struggling to find many juicy "interesting" things, other than naughty Mr G selling rights all over the place. I too don't know how people coped with half an hour less. I spent longer on the first part than I had intended, yet imagine my answer looks pretty shameful.
      One down..

      Delete
    3. Just FP seems enough to me (for all acts of R.71(3) at just a single 255 euro FP fee), as we got the 71(3) communication, so will go to grant (unless for some new reason the examination would be reopened). Deleting, adding or amending claims would delay the procedure.

      Delete
    4. @Anonymous7 March 2017 at 23:44: you are correct, but you would get an ST-EP1 granted with an invalid claim 2 (directed to SHAPE-A). You can at thhis moment still do an amendment without too much of a delay of you delete this claim and waive the second R.71(3).

      Delete
  13. Regarding CB-EP
    Opposition based on Art. 100 b, because it is not possible to get beams with sufficient stability?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is that claimed? I think not. And if "sufficient stability" is not in the claims, then t just claims beams with a certain shape - which can be made. If not sufficiently stable, it would be lack of inventive step. Or???

      Delete
  14. FYI: we will post our answers to DI and DII tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Done on two seperate blogs: DI on https://eqe-d.blogspot.nl/2017/03/d-2017-our-answers-to-di-part.html and the DII on http://eqe-d.blogspot.nl/2017/03/d-2017-metal-beams-having-projections.html

      Delete
  15. I suggested to oppose CB-EP on A.56 over common general knowledge, as STEELCO argued in letter to SR for ST-EP1 that rolling with or without teeth remove stress from the metal beam contrary to stamping.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Copies of the papers, in English, French and German are now available via the links in our original post.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I did the paper on Tuesday under exam conditions in Munich as a bench marker. Per paper, there are about 5 people who do it who have already passed the EQE. The papers are not used to calibrate points, but are used for the initial discussions relating to marking instructions - what is sufficient/insufficient for points etc. The bench markers are asked not to study, and to try and score about half the points.
    A a tutor, it was good to do this again to remind me of the experience - very conscious of the time you spend on everything (seeing people run to the toilets & back). Getting stressed by statements that you are uncertain about when you read them first time - you have to understand it. Bringing food but having no time to eat ;-)
    I did the DII first, because that is (was - see below) my favorite part, and it needs continuous concentration. I then attempted all the DI questions.

    I thought the DI was reasonable - there was a 4 point question (Q.3) and they easily suck up more time than they are worth. A 10 point question (Q.5) covers so may subjects, you could also easily spend a lot of time on side issues. The legal issues asked were all fairly regular DI subjects. I think it is the first time the page fee was asked for an EPC application - Q.6a). Q.4 was a bit of a surprise as it tested the application of substantive law (novelty/inventive step).
    I found DII heavy going compared to previous years. It seemed like most of the issues were a little ambiguous, and the inventions were phrased as product-by-process claims. This makes the patentability difficult to judge depending on how literal you take the text as what is actually claimed. You also have the complication of process subject matter and product subject matter to be compared.
    There were 6 applications, including 3 with different effective dates for their claims, and a PCT application which has to be treated as two applications - EP (Euro-PCT) and outside EP.
    There was the transfer of priority and the transfer of the application, and a lot of detail. I think it was the first time that an illegal priority claim based on a transfer has been on the D paper. The trade fair was also complicated - the beams were demonstrated and test results were presented and a video of the rolling process was shown. Not just China, Spain, UK but also UAE (so a quick check to make sure thay are a PCT state).
    And on the last page, they surprise you with CB-EP with a different kind of rolling process before almost all of the effective dates.
    I don't think the DII issues to deal with were too complicated one-by-one, but it took a long time for things to fall into place.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Pete,

    How do you go about the objective of scoring only half the marks? Do you leave half the questions unanswered, is it that linear a relationship?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the first time I did it, so I am not sure how close I got to 50. I have marked a lot of D papers, so I have an idea of the way a lot of people answer papers.

      I did DII + DI in about 4.5 hours really writing out my answer. I handed in about 20 pages in total. I spent the last hour making a handwritten copy of my answers.

      Reducing the time hopefully compensates for the fact that I don't have to look much up. Whenever I do the papers for the first time, I always do it this way - I don't give myself too much time to think, and I often go with my instinct. In general doing this, I usually miss a couple of things in DII, and get some aspects of the DI questions wrong.

      For the DII, I stopped at 3 hrs 5 minutes having just about answered Q3. Normally, I am very structured in my analysis, but for the benchmarking, I followed a more "organic" approach, which meant that I got a little lost in all the subject matter.

      For DI, I stuck to the main part of what I thought the answer was asking, so really following the guidance of the paper. I avoided going into details about some of the issues, and left out some things that few candidates would think about writing down. I made a couple of small mistakes that candidates also frequently make.

      We will see.

      Delete