Saturday, 6 March 2010

More news on the EQE pre-exam

A new version of the REE (EQE exam regulation) has appeared on the EPO website here
I have not looked into all the differences, but some form has now been given to the EQE for 2012 and beyond.

For candidates with at least 2 years patent experience on the date the pre-exam is to be held (not yet known, but presumably in March 2012) are required to take the pre-exam in 2012. If successful, they may then take the A, B, C and D papers in 2013.

The pre-exam in 2012 and beyond

R.6(2) Pass level = 50/100. Only PASS or FAIL, no COMPENSABLE FAIL
R.8(1) Fee = 130 Euro (same as A, B, C & D papers)

Rule 10
(1) A pre-examination shall be held for the first time in 2012.
(2) The pre-examination shall consist of one paper.
(3) The purpose of this paper shall be to assess candidates' ability to answer legal questions and questions relating to the drafting of claims

The duration of this paper shall be four hours.

To compensate for this extra exam, the B, C & D exams are to be shortened (in total by 4 hours) - see below.

Rule 10
(4) The paper shall consist of:
(a) legal questions relating to the candidates' knowledge of the documents referred to in Rule 22(1)

(b) questions on at least one technical proposal from a client, at least one draft
claim in respect of that technical proposal and at least one relevant prior art

Candidates will be expected to answer questions on the allowability of the claim(s) under the European Patent Convention (hereinafter "the EPC") and as to whether the claim(s) provide(s) the broadest possible protection under the EPC. When answering the questions, candidates shall bear in mind the requirements of the EPC, in particular regarding novelty and inventive step, and the recommendations contained in the Guidelines for Examination in the EPO (hereinafter "the Guidelines").

No mention of multiple choice answers, as was used in the mock pre-exam
No mention of whether there will be chemical and electro/mechanical options. For the mock pre-exam, there was only an electro/mechanical question

The A, B, C & D papers in 2013 and beyond:

Rule 23
Content of the examination – Drafting paper (Paper A)

No major changes

Rule 24
Content of the examination – Reply paper (Paper B
A 3 hour paper instead of 4 hours

The paper shall include ... a draft set of claims to be filed with the candidates' response to the official communication
The response shall be in the form of a letter ... accompanied by the claims supplied by the client, amended as appropriate to meet the requirements of the EPC.

Rule 25
Content of the examination – Opposition paper (Paper C)

5 hours instead of 6 hours

Rule 26
Content of the examination – Legal paper (Paper D)

A single paper of 5 hours instead of DI:3 hours + DII:4 hours


  1. The required experience at the time of the pre-exam is now 2 yrs (3 for EPO examiners), see Art11(7). How on earth are the candidates supposed to train in time and keep the same level until the real exam one year later? And I do hope they don't expect us to keep the present DI pace for 5 hours instead of 3!!

  2. We will have to wait for more details - it is not certain that the pre-exam will look like the mock pre-exam. That was a complete DI with multiple choice answers.

    You are right though - 2 years is not much time to get to a DI level (and some claim drafting) if you are following a part-time course. You also only have 2 years of practical experience on top of that.

  3. "If successful, they may then take the A, B, C and D papers in 2103."? The difficuly for them would then be how to walk to the examination hall :)

  4. Lets hope that no one takes that long to pass ;-)