Last year I attended the European qualifying (Eqe) pre Exam. It was held in a virtual form, which made it quite stressful. Here i would like to share my thoughts and how it went. For me in the end everything went well and i hope i can help others with my experiences so far!
The european Patent office (epo) decided to use the Wiseflow software.
I think wiseflow was a “wise”choice by the EPO. The Software all in all works well and also forgives if short connection losses ocurr or if you have a computer shutdown you can reconnect.
So how does it work:
You log in at the time the Exam starts (better 15 min before). If there is anything you need/can print then you have access before the exam starts (10–15 min). It is important to print it right away because, otherwise after attending the exam you have no chance to print anything nor do anything different on you computer than writing the exam.
During the exam a Webcam is constantly pointing at you and checking if you are not leaving or cheating in any possible way. Also your sound/microphone needs to be activated. I think this makes cheating really diffcult and helps to assure a fair exam for everyone!
If you have any problems you can also use Zendesk to chat with die Advisors! I had to that once in the exam, because i wanted to know if i can go to the toilet. The answer here was: No not really possible in the pre-exam. In the Main exam it should be different. Well this made me hand in one block/part 10 min earlier. Well i can just say: go to the toilet before every Part 😀
The Exam itself
The exam consists of 4 blocks of equal length. Each block was around 70 minutes. The first two blocks are testing your knowledge about the EPC and also a bit about the PCT. In general I would say the question were on a similiar level than the years before. Not as hard as 2018 exam but harder than 2019.
After receiving the results i noticed that i ticked two answers wrong because i did not read the text good enough. There i can just advise you: give yourself some time really understandig every question!
In the end i received a really good grade in this part!
The next two blocks were about claim analysis. There you had the chance to print the Documents before. I can really recommend doing that because that really helps to get an overview of the documents, if you can compare them! It was also quite helpful for me to use different colors! For example i marked all information about state of the art in one color and the problem that has to be solved in another color. I also started using different colors for every essential feature. I can asure you it helps you to better understand the documents! Try it! Btw in my eyes really understanding the documents is crucial and then answering the questions is quite easy in my eyes!
In this part i had a really good result!
So all in all i received a good result in the Exam (88/100). It was totally ok with me and could have been even better if i would have read the questions more careful. So you can do it as well 🙂
Well there were two phases of preparation for the exam.
The first phase started when i started working in the field of Intellectual Property. I began attending a Ceipi course on the basics of European Patent law! This was a really good start for me! I really liked the environment and it was so nice to meet people that work in the same field! This course ended after 2 years some months before the Pre Exam. Thx to Ceipi and the nice tutors!
In the next phase i really focused on the exam itself. I had a learning group with a college and someone who als attended the CEIPI course. I think 3 people was a perfect and really effective size to learn together. We created a Team in Microsoft Teams and met virtually (Corona virus made it impossible to meet) once a week. In Microsoft teams we shared all the documents we needed which was really helpful! I think this is the most important advice i can give! Get a learning team! It helps to stay motivated and we all passed in the end!
I used mostly german language in the preparation and also all my resources were in German. I think it really makes sense to start gathering everything you need as early as possible! And be aware that you should bring everything in Paper form!
So mainly i used the following ressources (Don’t worry those are no affiliate links! I really only share those resources because i liked them)
A book in table format which helps so much for the pre exam! I think you can pass by only using this book! Verfahrenspraxis EPÜ /PCT (https://shop.wolterskluwer-online.de/rechtsgebiete/wirtschaftsrecht/marken-patentrecht/59519000-verfahrenspraxis-epue-und-pct.html)
Then i used a commentary. This makes also sense because there you find some background information! (Kley http://mfh-verlag.de/content/products.html)
For the PCT i used the PCT Handbook (köllner) also really recommendable.
And those were all the commercial recourses i used! I think it is totally enough!
Then you add all the resources from the EPO:
- Guidelines EPC and als PCT (really important (you can also access them online during the exam))
- Case law EPO
- EURO PCT guide
- Applicants guide PCT
Make sure you are really familiar with all those resources! This safes you a lot of time! If you are unsure you have only some time to look things up during the exam!
I really hope this little blog helped! If you have any more questions just let me know! You liked the topic, let me know! Comments are really welcomed!