Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Pre-Exam 2019: the results are out!

The Pre-Exam 2019 results are out! They can be found here.

In the list, results for the pre-examination of the European qualifying examination 2019 are listed according to the EQE Registration Number (EQEReg).

The list also indicates that dispatch of the result letters is foreseen for 18 March 2019.  Only results as
notified to the candidates in the results letter are binding.

Pass rate

If my tools and myself did not make any errors, I come to a very high pass rate:

920 candidates enrolled
107 scored 0-69, 813 scored 70-100, so: 11,6% fail and 88,4% pass of all that enrolled.

880 candidates actually sat the exam. of these:
67 scored 1-69, 813 scored 70-100, so: 7,6% fail and 92,4% pass of all sitters.

Scores varied from 30 to 100. 10 candidates scored 100 out of 100; 383 scored 90 or more.

149 candidates that failed in 2018 enrolled for this year's exam; of these, 139 sat the exam, and scored in a range of 40 - 94 marks. Of the ones that sat, 84,2% passed (78,5% from those that enrolled).

Congratulations to all who passed!

Examiner's Report

The Examiner's Report is also available (here).

Our answers (legal and claims analysis) would have attracted full marks.

(Only) Statements 19.1 and 19.2 were neutralized. For 19.1 and 19.2, the arguments given in the Examiner's Report is:

Claim A.1 results from the combination of claims 1 to 4 as originally filed, and the feature of paragraph [003] last sentence. Claim A.2 is based on the combination of claims 5 and as originally filed. Therefore, the statements 19.1 and 19.2 are True.

However, there is a potential difference in scope between the wording in the description(e.g. paragraph [003] last sentence) and the wording of claim A.1 (“pass through” vs.“extending through”) in the English version. Also there may be valid counter-arguments inview of an un-allowed intermediate generalization. For this reason it was exceptionallydecided to award marks for both answers, True and False, for the statements 19.1 and 19.2.  

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Pre-Exam 2019: our answers to the claims analysis part - washing compositions and composite structures

The cases

The claims analysis part started with an invention relating to a washing composition in the form of a tablet, described in a 1-page description. The washing composition comprises one or more detergents (surface active agents), one or more builders (help to keep the water soft), one or more bleaches (to destroy coloured dirt components), and, optionally a colourant. Ranges of amounts of the various components were given. The components are contained in separate layers: a first layer (all detergents), a second layer (all bleaches), and preferably a third layer in between those (preferably comprising only a builder). The application had no drawings.
A first claim set of 1 independent claim and 8 dependent claims (some of them multiple-dependent) was to be considered for questions 11 to 14. Two very brief documents D1 and D2 were given and expected to be used as prior art documents. 
D1 described two embodiments of washing tablets including, as usual, a detergent, a builder and a bleach; in the first embodiment, all ingredients are mixed together and compressed to form a tablet; in a second embodiment, the mixture is divided into two separate parts, forming two layers of the tablet. D2 proposes a washing tablets comprising three layers: a first layer with a builder and a bleach, a second comprising a builder and a detergent, and a third comprising a builder and a colourant.
Questions 11-14 were directed to clarity, scope, novelty, and extension of subject-matter. 
For question 15, a different independent claim was presented, and several inventive step-related statements were tested.

Pre-Exam 2019: our answers to the legal part

This year's legal part addressed several topics that were to be expected (such as time limits, time limit differences PCT-EPC, filing date requirements, languages, …) as well as several less standard topics which well-prepared candidates would have been able to find in their EPC/ reference materials/ Guidelines (who can speak at oral proc, transfers, inventors, recording changes). Some usual topics, such as divisionals and EP-entry, were missing. Partial priority was not tested.

Overall, the legal part was -in our opinion- more difficult than in the previous years, and we expect fewer candidates to score 45 marks or more from the legal part; however, 40 marks for the legal part seems well within reach for well-prepared candidates.

Our answers to the legal part:

Monday, 25 February 2019

Pre-Exam 2019: first impressions?

To all who sat the Pre-Exam today:
What are your first impressions to this year's Pre-Exam

Any general or specific comments?
Were the legal topics well balanced?
Were the various aspects of claims analysis well balanced?
Was the balance between EPC and PCT right for you?
Were recent changes and stable legal provisions tested in the right balance for you?
Were you able to finish the exam in the 4 hours available (without rushing more than expected)?

Which of the legal questions did you consider particularly difficult, and which relatively 'easy'?
How much time did you allocate for the legal questions, how much for the claims analysis part? Did you deviate from our original plan (for example, took more time for the legal questions than planned)?
Which part did you do first, the legal part or the claims analysis?
How many marks do you expect to have scored in the legal part, in the claims analysis, and for the whole paper?
What is your expectation of the pass rate and the average score?

How did this year's paper compare to the earlier pre-exams of 2015-2018 (assuming your practiced those) w.r.t. the pre-exam as a whole, w.r.t. the legal part and w.r.t. the claims analysis part? 

The paper and our answers
Copies of the paper are available in all three languages on the EQE website, Compendium, Pre-Exam

The core of our answers will be given in two separate blog posts: one for the legal questions and another post for the claims analysis 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!

Monday, 24 December 2018

Annoucement of Pre-Exam 2020 in OJ EPO - incl registration and enrolment information

The Announcement of the European qualifying examination 2020 - Pre-examination and main examination has been published  in OJ 2018, A108.

A few aspects are cited below, for all detail refer to the Notice itself:

Friday, 30 November 2018

Deadline for compulsory registration prior to enrolment to Pre-Exam 2020: 15 January 2019

The Examination Secretariat for the EQE published a notice on compulsory registration prior to first-time enrolment to the EQE in OJ 2018, A99.

The Notice provides the following:

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Pre-Exam 2018: the results are out!!

The results are out! They can be found here.

The results for the pre-examination of the European qualifying Examination 2018 are listed according to the EQE Registration Number (EQEReg).

Dispatch of the result letters is foreseen for 3 April 2018, according to the document with the results.

935 candidates enrolled, 893 candidates actually sat the pre-exam.

Of the 893 candidates that sat the pre-exam, 655 (73%) passed and 238 (27%) failed. This is a approx. 5%-point lower pass rate than in the previous years (e.g., 2017: 78% and 22%)

When measured relative to the number of candidates enrolled (as the results are usually presented in the official statistics), 655 of 935 (70%) passed and 280 (30%) did not pass (including the 42 no-shows). This is a 6%-point lower pass rate than in 2017 (2017: 76% and 24%).

Mark distribution Pre-Exam 2018 (courtesy Jessica Kroeze)

Examiner's Report and answers

The Examiner's Report is not yet available (status: 21 March 2018; 17:35).

The Examiner's Report is now also available (22 March 2018, 13:30): here.

For 2 statements, marks were awarded for both T and F: statements 12.2 and 12.4. See the Examiner's Report for details.

Our legal answers got full marks, as did our claims analysis answers.