Friday, 20 January 2017

Preparing for D 2017

The Guidelines for Examination are an important source of information for answering legal questions in the D-paper, as they document the EPO practice and application of EPC Articles, Rules, Decisions and Notices.

The Guidelines of 1 November 2016 are the relevant version for EQE 2017. It incorporates for example electronic notification (E-I, 2.4; OJ 2015, A17; OJ 2015, A36), and the amended PACE regime (E-VII, 4; OJ 2015, A93).

Note however that not all OJ publications from before 1 November are incorporated in the Guidelines of November 2016, even though the date given on the Guidelines cover page suggests they are. Thus, some parts do not correctly reflect the legal situation on 1 November (nor on 31 December). 

Not incorporated are for example:
Although it is unlikely that an EQE 2017 question could be designed for these recent changes, the changes may have an effect on the answer: application of the applicable legal provisions and notices may give another answer than the incorrect answer that would be derived from the Guidelines. We recommend to annotate your paper copy of the Guidelines with the correct information.


  1. Hello,
    according to my experience from last year, there is not much time to do research during the exam, i.e. the guidelines may be of little help.

    Can you recommend how the additional 30 min should be spent?

    For example, taking 3.5 hours for D2 or 2hours for D1, 3 hours for D2 and 30 min for additional research.

    As an alternative, 30 min could be used for additional PCT research.

    Your response would be highly appreciated. Thanks,


    1. It should be part of your preparation to discover how to allocate your time to DI and DII.
      In general, DI questions can be done or skipped individually, so you can do as many as you want. And can skip the ones you donot know to save the time for questions you do know: being stuck for 30 minutes means loosing about 10 marks.
      In DII, the analysis takes a considerable time, and scoring marks tends to get more and more efficient when you come closer to the end. So make sure to get to the end.
      As said above, you have to find out yourself what is best for you.
      If you donot yet have a clue, I would advise to check whether 1,5-2,0 h DI and 3,5-4 h DII works for you.
      Good luck!!

    2. NB: In DI, I advise to assume that you donot have time to lookup topics that you do not know at all (you also donot have experience with applying them to the facts of the case) -- you only have time to lookup details of topics that you do know. DI requires a thorough preparation, so that you are familiar with all the topics. If not familiar, you will not be able to answer within time, probably not even in double time. As a rule of thumb assume you can only look up to confirm or supplement an answer that you already know, not to find an answer that you donot know.

  2. Isn't Visegrad Patent Institute (OJ 2016 A2) also missing from the GL/A/X/9.3.1?

    1. Yes, it is. There are more omissions of changes in 2016, as I indicated with "Not incorporated are _for example_".

  3. Hello,

    are there any other important possibilities to accelerate proceedings than:

    PACE request,
    Requesting early publication,
    Waiving 70(2) or 161 communication,
    Omitting of filing time extension requests,
    Waiving second 71(3) communicaion, and
    Requesting early entry?

    How much time can be saved? Years? (Of course,this depends on the subject matter :)).


    1. See OJ 2015, A94 "Notice from the European Patent Office dated 30 November 2015 concerning ways to expedite the European grant procedure" for an overview and for indications as to time saved.

  4. Dear Sir, I would like to know if Deltapatent sill plans to provide a free printable version of PCT AG for EQE candidates this year, like previous years. Thank you.

    1. Available via, close to the bottom of the left column, link "PCT References EQE 2017".

  5. Hi,

    how many days of regeneration before the exam are required?

    What should we do next week? Want to write D tomorrow. 6 months of preparation are enough.