Wednesday, 28 September 2022

EQE 2023 exam schedule now available: Paper D

 The "Information on the schedule for the EQE 2023 examination papers" is now available on the EQE website

The EQE 2023 will take place online using the same setup as the EQE of 2021 and 2022.

Paper D will have the same syllabus and character as before, but it will be split into three parts: 

  1. a first D1 part of three questions and 27 marks (1 h 35 min),
  2. a second D1 part of three questions and 28 marks (1 h 40 min), and
  3. a D2 part of 45 marks (2 h 45 min)

Once the time allowed for a part has elapsed, it will not be possible to go back to that part.

The D1:D2 ratio is this 55:45, with more than half of the marks available for D1 and less than half for D2. (See here).

Each part must be completed before the start of the next break, with the next part only becoming available after the break. Paper D lasts six hours.

No calendars will be provided (see here).

(Note that that the document may be subject to minor changes as testing continues. Please check the EQE website for updates)

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  1. A Notice from the European Patent Office dated 14 November 2022 concerning the days on which EPO filing offices are closed in 2023 is now available on the EPO website.


    It is expected to be in the OJ EPO soon.

    Refer to the Notice of the Examination Board "Calculation of time limits in paper D and pre-examination" on

    "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."

    1. The "Notice from the European Patent Office dated 14 November 2022 concerning the days on which EPO filing offices are closed in 2023" is in OJ 2022, A107.

  2. Which calendars will we need for the paper D 2023?
    2021, 2022 and 2023 is enough, or do we need to cover other years too?

  3. Do the EPO give any statistical information (or do experienced examiners here know) how the D1/D2 marking works out for candidates? Do candidates tend to have similar marks in D1 and D2 or is there a strong trend since years that we don't know about?
    I'll be interested to see how the 45 point weighting for D2 will be handled. It's the first time it's been tilted in favour of D1 (or D2, depending on which candidate you ask...) Compared to the 60 mark D2 of yore, that's a significant drop; also so from 55 in 2022.

    1. No such statistical breakdown has been published, but it was noted that there was an increase in the number of candidates focusing predominantly on DII, to the extent that some or all of the DI questions were not even attempted. The move to a single paper in 2014 - previously there were two separate papers presented in different exam sessions - allowed candidates total freedom on how to allocate their time. Spending the bulk of the available time on DII allowed candidates who enjoyed solving DII-type puzzles to score highly and pass without ever needing to worry too much about the legal questions paper. The move to online examination not only allowed a return to the "separate papers" format, but also allowed the added flexibility of varying the allocation of points. This gives the question-setters more flexibility when drawing up the papers, while also further impressing upon candidates the necessity to prepare for both question styles; no longer can you rely on DII alone to pass, and with each candidate now required to spend the same amount of time on each section, the playing field has been again levelled.

      Good luck to all candidates tomorrow and in the coming days.