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.


Resitters

Of the 212 candidates that did not pass in 2017, (only) 125 were resitting this year: 14% of all sitters were resitters this year, first-time resitters and multiple resitters. Of all 125 resitters, 59 passed, 66 failed again, corresponding to a resitter pass rate of 47%.
30 candidates that failed in 2016 and 2017 sat again (these 30 being included in the 212 mentioned just above): 12 of these multiple-resitters passed, 18 failed again.
13 candidates that failed in 2015, 2016 and 2017 sat again (included in the 30 mentioned just above): 5 passed, 8 failed again.
2 candidates that failed in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 sat again: 1 passed, 1 failed again.

As we also reported in earlier years, the resitter pass rate is considerably lower than the overall pass rate. As the numbers are not that large, it is hard to conclude whether the pass rate reduces with number of resits - which was reported earlier for the main exam.

Pass rate comparison

This Pre-Exam had a lower pass rate than each of the earlier Pre-Exams. Whereas the pass rate seemed to have settled at around 75% of all sitters, and 77-78% of all that enrolled (including no-shows), the pass rate was lower by about 5% points. With about 900 candidates, that corresponds to 45 more candidates failing the exam. 

Pass rates based on published lists of marks for 2014-2018 are shown in the table below. Column 2-5 indicate the numbers for all enrolled candidates; columns 6-8 for those that actually sat the exam (i.e., exclusing the zero scores). For 2015, also pass rates after appeals are shown, derived from the statistics as published here and its difference with the rates from the published lists of mark - in 2015,  24 candidates got a pass after an initial fail, including those that did not appeal (see the Addendum from the Examiner's Report 2015):


Enrolled
Pass (of
enrolled)
Fail (of
enrolled)
No-show
Sitting
Pass (of
sitters)
Fail (of
sitters)
2018
935
70%
26%
4,5%
893
73%
27%
2017
884
76%
21%
2,7%
860
78%
21%
2016
818*
75%
21%
3,7%
787
78%
22%
2015 after appeals
810
76%
22%
1,8%
795
77%
23%

2015
811
73%
25%
1,8%
796
74%
26%
2014
662
84%
14%
2,1%
648
86%
14%


Update 6 July 2018: statistics

The EPO published the statistics of EQE 2018 on the EQE Results and Statistics pages (on or shortly after 2 July 2018).

The Pre-Exam statistics incorporate the effects of the appeals that were succesful in interlocutory revision. As was reported and suggested by the  updated Examiner's Report published in June, the pass/fail decisions were reviewed for all candidates w.r.t. statements 4.4, 5.3 and 13.1, as was also done in previous years (see e.g. the Addentum to the Examiner's Report of Pre-Exam 2015). Most likely, some individual appeals have also been allowed on other statements.

As a result, the number of candidates that passed increased from 655 to 689, i.e. 34 more candidates passed (3,8% of the candidates that sat the exam).

As a result, the pass-rate for the pre-exam 2018 increased from 70,1% 73,7 % when calculated relative to all enrolled candidates, or 73,3% to 77,2% when calculated relative to all candidates that actually sat the exam (all non-zero scores).

So, of all 893 candidates that sat the exam, 689 passed (77,2%) after the broadly applied review after interlocutory revision.

Roel

(c) DeltaPatents, 2018

273 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It appears I scored the same total as the one I had obtained by comparing to your answers. So there is a reasonable likelihood that they align completely with those of the examiner's report. :)

      Delete
    2. No, my results differed by 2P. There is at least one or two statements from Delta that do not match with the official answers.A colleague of mine had a difference of 3P, so it could be even more.

      Delete
    3. I had a different score last year from what I expected. Turned out I copied some answers wrongly on the official answer sheet, which made me loose a few marks :-( Are you sure that you and your colleagues did not make the same mistake?

      Delete
  2. I got 98 marks and according to the Delta answers I should have got 96. So I think there is only one mistake from Delta.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mean, two mistakes, of course. (Same Anonymous).

      Delete
    2. 1 error would be 2 marks down (unless 3 or 4 errors in a question), not 4.

      And a difference of 2 marks could also be explained if for a statement both answers T and F are considered correct. So also if Delta has no errors, you could have 1 different from them but have more marks than you thought based on their answers.

      Delete
    3. From http://pre-exam.blogspot.com/2017/03/pre-exam-2017-results.html it appeals that last year the results and the examiner’s report got published on the same day, so let’s hope that the examiner’s report will be available tomorrow, so we know what the exam committee considered the correct answers and whether there were any statements with both T and F considered correct.

      Delete
    4. appears, not appeals..

      Delete
  3. Although a reduction of the pass rate from 75% to 70% may sound not too much (less than a relative 10%), it actually is a very large difference from what you showed for the last 3 years: the FAIL rate went up from 25% to 30%, i.e. relatively 20%!!!

    A

    ReplyDelete
  4. For all the complaining (me included) that took place immediately after the exam on this blog, it is interesting to see that the pass rate was spot on 70%. If this was the target for the EQE Exam board, then they obviously got this right! The only comment I have, which will be difficult for anyone to appeal against, is that fact that there was too little time for the claims analysis part. This is I think confirmed by the number of comments on this blog. It is obviously difficult to get this right, and 2018 will be seen as being off-target in this respect. However, credit must be nevertheless given to the persons responsible for creating the exam. It's not an easy job! So well done them!

    ReplyDelete
  5. 98 and 24 were highest and lowest marks respectively, ignoring 0s.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My result (98) matches the result according to delta patents. So maybe, if the results of other candidates do not match, then the EPO (once again) gave points for T and F of at least one question?

    Franziska

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great result, 98!!

      Could be. Or, as someone else commented, the answers noted on the take-home paper were different from the answers handed in for the people that reported differences.

      As you had 98, you had one error accoding to the official marking, as well as to us: that can only be the case if either our answer matches fully the official answer, or if there was at least T and F both correct for at least one question.

      Which statement did you have different from us?

      Delete
    2. There is 6 candidates with 98 marks, and 11 with 96.

      And to answer a question asked to me by email where someone referred to the former pass mark of 50:
      The list shows 28 non-zero scores (3%) below 50 (50 excluded), and 210 scores (23,5%) between 50 (included) and 70 (excluded).

      Delete
    3. I have a mistake at question 4.4 (and I agree with your answer)

      Franziska

      Delete
    4. This is a pretty lower pass rate respect earlier pre-exams.
      My score corresponding with the Deltapatents result as well.

      Delete
  7. I would like to file an appeal. Is there anybody familiar with the procedure or somebody who can give me any guidance?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See the decision D 0001/17 dated 16.11.2017 of the Board of Appeal in wich the right request of a candidate was accepted and his score was raised about 2 point.
      By the way I don't understand why the Examination Secretariat has not reviewed all the scores of all the candidates like 2015, since it was demonstrate their fault.

      Delete
    2. 14.3, 16.1, 18.1 and 18.4 - quite ambiguous. Appeal may be possible on these questions.

      Delete
    3. Why? I had no problems with those and the Examiner’s Reports argumentation seems solid to me.
      Please explain why you think 14.3, 16.1, 18.1 and 18.4 are ambiguïteit. And why so badly that the appeal board will take it on? They only overrule manifest errors, not fancy non-standard interpretations.

      Delete
    4. I also don't understand why the Examination Secretariat has not reviewed all the scores of all the candidates after D 1/17 and D 2/17 like they did in 2015 and also in 2016. Not only would it have been fair. It could surely be expected in view of the principle of legitimate expectations. Which they are even obliged to apply as the Enlarged Board has ruled that it applies to EPO bodies without any exceptions being named.

      Mr.GoodFaith

      Delete
    5. Time management is part of the EXam, they tell us this is not the case, time pressure should not play a role but...in fact this exam is all preparation AND time mangament.

      To me, having an extra hour would allow fit candidates to pass the Exam.

      In paper C and D, you will get the same issues, particulary in C a wrong attack may mean you lost the whole paper.

      You need to develop a solid time management methodology or learn it from someone (see deltapatent books).

      Delete
    6. Time management is part of exams but not necessarily for pre-EQE. The idea is to provide a first filter not run students to the wire in an exam. There were no such problems in other years.

      It doesn't help that there were alot of ambiguous questions in the pre-EQE which only throws of students and massively affects timing. The pre-EQE exam this year is badly designed.

      Delete
    7. If pre-EQE is so time-pressured, lets scrap the pre-EQE if its going to turn into an EQE style exam. The T/F format does not fit in well with claim analysis type questions e.g. T/F on inventive step statements without argumentation. In real-life you can argue inventive step with the EPO.

      Delete
    8. I trained with early examination papers and I felt pretty sure about myself, because I scored about 80 marks in about 3 hours for pre-exam 2014 and 2013. In the exam 4 hours was not enough and i failed, it was much more diffucult than 2013 and 2014

      Delete
    9. Did you really only prepare with those very old pre-exams of which everyone knew that ther were much easier than the ones from 2015-2017?

      Delete
    10. So what exactly is the point of time pressure in the EQE? In real life, attorneys have months to prepare applications, oppositions, and the like. On the other hand, why make an exam 7.5 hours long? Is it to get into the Guiness book of Records??

      Delete
    11. Candidates should be tested in a similar way with questions with a comparable difficulty as candidates in the past. This is certainly not the case for candidates in 2018.

      Delete
  8. Can you file an appeal based on insufficient time to do pre-EQE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They needed to take the timing issue into account. Would be absolutely unfair if they didn't.

      Delete
    2. I agree with you but I think time is not a good way for an appeal.

      Delete
    3. I think it is possible, as it is defined in IPREE that it should be 4 hours, so it too long to do in 4 hours, then violation of IPREE, so is an admissible ground of appeal, subject to review in appeal.
      But I do not know how to make a very strong argument that cannot be ignored and cannot be denied. Who knows?

      Delete
    4. Is it worth a try. It will at least get the supervisory board to review the time allocation, which was ridiculous this year.

      Delete
    5. Most candidates between 65-70% would of fail because of timing issues, not because they couldn't pass. There were 10 marks available for Q19 and Q20. That would make a huge difference.

      Delete
    6. Roel, What are your thoughts on appeal based on timing issues?

      Delete
    7. Sorry, but I think chances of a successful appeal based on insufficient time are very low. The exam was not too long to finish in four hours, several candidates managed to finish in four hours or less.

      If you only failed by 1 or 2 points and you would really like to file an appeal, then you should identify ambiguous questions and base your appeal on those.

      Honestly, I would recommend that you safe yourself the time and rather study harder for next year's pre-exam. The time pressure on the main exam is much higher than on the pre-exam, so if you already had major timing problems on the pre-exam, you are maybe not quite ready for the main exam.

      -Flora

      Delete
    8. I donot feel it appropriate for me to advise on appeals or not on this blog, that is not the purpose of these blogs. The blog serves to inform you in an early stage about our answers and to have an open discussion on it. We are open about our answers and our thoughts, and we want to continue to work like that with this blog. Proposing to appeal, advising not to appeal, or to get involved in appeal cases is in our view not in the interest of the open character of this blog.
      I only want to refer to earlier pre-exam appeal decisions, e.g., D 3/14 and D 2/15, and cite from D 3.14, r 5: "In accordance with Article 24(4) REE and the appeal board's consistent case law (following D 1/92, OJ EPO 1993, 357), decisions of the Examination Board may in principle only be reviewed for the purposes of establishing that they do not infringe the REE, the provisions relating to its application, or higher-ranking law. It is not the function of the appeal board to reconsider the entire examination procedure on the merits. This is because the Examination Committee and the Examination Board have some latitude of evaluation that is subject to only limited judicial review by the appeal board. Only if the appellant can show that the contested decision is based on serious and obvious mistakes can the board take this into account". Reason 8 and 13 are also very worthwhile to get some understanding as to what can be reviewed.
      Hope you all accept and understand that we have to put a limit somewehere, and that we make our own judgement as to what we consider in the best interest of all, current as well as future candidates, with the blogs and with the dialogue between tutors and EQE Committees at the appropriate occasion (The yearly Tutor Meeting in September/October). So I will refrain from commenting further on posts relating to appeal procedures.

      By the way, we did discuss time aspects apart from arguments and answers, as we consider that an important aspect to exchange thoughts and experiences about. In our original blog post (see above), we already indicated that:
      "The claims part was in our view considerable more difficult than in previous years. Also, careful bookkeeping of (in)dependent claims, embodiment, prior art document was required ("Claim II.2 is novel over the first embodiment of document D2"). We expect that candidates needed considerably more time for the claims analysis part than in previous years, with the risk of not getting to the end."

      Delete
    9. Hi Flora

      I agree that main EQE exam is more time pressure however, all other pre-EQE exams before 2018 were very doable under 4 hours.

      Unfortunately, alot of people's jobs are on the line and for this pre-EQE to drastically change the length of questions is slightly unfair. I agree that it is better to seek out ambiguous questions but perhaps mentioning timing issues in the appeal will do no harm.

      G

      Delete
    10. It is a shame. People will lose jobs or decide to quit. I don't think this year's claim analysis is particularly well constructed.

      Delete
    11. Sorry FLora, it is not very relevant that "SEVERAL candidates MANAGED to finish in four hours or less". What is much much more relevant is that MANY candidates could NOT finish in four hours! Which has to be contrasted with the exam committee's repeated indications that the pre-exam pass/fail shall not be heavily influenced by language skills or timing issues.

      Delete
    12. The problem is, how would you measure how many candidates did not manage to finish? I think (almost) everybody would have guessed some answers near the end, so even those who did not have enough time to look at the questions have likely formally answered all the questions. If you look at the previous appeal decisions, including the reasoning of the disciplinary board of appeal, I highly doubt that an appeal based on insufficient time has a chance of success.

      -Flora

      Delete
    13. Hi FLora, this is the same Anonymous again. You may be right... although everyone seems to agree that it needed more time than the earlier exams, it is not so easy to proof that beyond doubt and the board does not seem to give the benefit of the doubt to candidates. And maybe they even deliberately made it as it is? Could the Supervisory Board act of own motion maybe?

      Delete
    14. 16.1 and 18.4 are definitely debatable. If you have 67, 68 or 69 marks - may be worth an APPEAL. Timing is a massive issue this year so they may look favorably.

      G

      Delete
    15. 14.3 and 18.1 as well. Very ambiguous and should be considered as an appeal.

      Delete
    16. Dear G, I agree with 16.1 (far more difficult than 12.4 which the examiners report itself says was too difficult so both T and F ok) and 18.4 (as examiners report says “not arriving from a combination of these trackings”, but that was not what the statement said. For the statement as it was, common general knowledge had to be in it to conclude True, without it it is absolutely False. Do the conmitee menners never get or give objections wherein common general knowledge is used as closest prior art or as second teaching, never workshop modification objections?)

      Delete
    17. Hi Anonymous, yes I think 16.1 and 18.4 are very controversial. Are you or is anyone else thinking of appealing?

      G

      Delete
    18. also, how long does an appeal take? does anyone know.

      G

      Delete
    19. No, I passed with quite some margin, so was luckily not dependent on these statements... btw, I had only 2 minutes or so left.

      Delete
    20. Dear Flora, consider that lot of candidates sit the EQE not in their language. Not everybody think in german, french or english, and they probably need a little bit more time.

      Delete
    21. Anonymous 27 March 2018 at 09:45 - It's unfortunate that English, French and German are the official languages of the EPO but c'est la vie.

      Delete
  9. I agree with statistics, lack of time was for me a serious issue this year as well as many candidates.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I got a 91 - thank you to Roel and DeltaPatents for a great course which really helped my preparation.

    -Kristian

    ReplyDelete
  11. The Examiner's Report is online: http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponot.nsf/0/91790E61546CFE5BC12582580032256A/$FILE/ExReport_PreEx2018.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  12. For Q12.2 and Q12.4 F and T are considered to be correct!! What do people think of Q11.2?
    In my view the correct answers for Q11.2 are also T and F, because the description and the drawing of the first embodiment of D1 are contradictory (how can the position flap 105 contacts the detector 116 in open position when looking at figure 1?? When taking figure one into account, the counter
    automatically increments in response to said blocking mechanism
    moving from a closed to an open position. When taking only the description into account this can be interpreted the vice versa.

    Br, P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please refer to the claims analysis blog, where this topic was extensively discussed.

      Note that the Guidelines indicate that the description takes precedence over the, schematic, drawings. Thatbis done in the context of amendments, but novelty use the same "directly and unambiguously disclosed" concept. GL H-V, 6 indicates:
      "The manner in which a particular feature is depicted in the drawings may be accidental. The skilled person must be able to clearly and unmistakably recognise from the drawings, in the context of the whole description, that the added feature is the deliberate result of the technical considerations directed to the solution of the technical problem involved. "

      http://pre-exam.blogspot.nl/2018/02/pre-exam-2018-our-answers-to-claims.html

      Delete

    2. Thanks Roel for your response.
      The position of the detector/actuator 116 is not accidental (it’s not like a typo) and the figure 1 cannot be neglected when assessing the novelty of Cl.1.1. A skilled person may easily interpret embodiment 1 of D1 the same as Claim I.1 when considering the description with the drawing.
      A skilled person will however notice that the description and drawing are inconsistent and he will notice an obvious error in the description of embodiment 1. This obvious error is more likely in the description then in the drawing.
      The obvious error may be with respect the wording "contacts" which should be replaced by "disconnects". This results in an answer True. Another obvious error may be that the words open and closed are accidentally shifted. This would result in an answer False.
      Last but not least, GL H V 6 is about amendments derived from the drawings. Knowing that this reference should be used for assessing novelty is quite advanced and goes beyond the purpose of the pre-exam.
      Or do you see this still different Roel?

      Br, P

      Delete
    3. Hi P,

      I donot agree with you that a pre-exam candidate does not need to be aware that the tests for novelty and amendments are based on the same concept of "directly and umabiguously disclosed" and that the "description prevails over the drawings" would not be within pre-exam scope. But I do agree that it is not likely that such a thinh will be tested as a sub-element of an already difficult novelty assesment.

      What bothers and puzzles me is that D1 has some things in it that I find hard to reconcile. I only got to my answers by trying to get an as good as possible literal match between tested claim and the specific D1 embodiment being tested in a statement.
      What puzzled me is that in D1 [001] last sentence says "The number indicated by the device is incremented each time the user opens the lid of the jug" (increment when opening), whereas D1 [003] describes the firdt embodiment to have the effect "In this way in order to fill the jug the flap 105 is manually moved from the closed to the open position revealing aperture 104 and resulting in the automatic incrementation of the counter 111" (increment when opening) and [004] says that in the second embodiment "The detector 116 detects the proximity of the flap 105 and transmits an incrementing signal to counter 111 in response to detecting the flap moving from the open to the closed position." (increment wen closing), and [005] third embodiment "the counter 111 is manually incremented by a user pressing actuator/detector 116." (not limited to open or close).

      Delete
    4. By the way, I agree that [003] and Fig. 3 are inconsistent, as it is hard to see how a movement to the detector (i.e. to the left) of the flap 105 could open the aperture 104 and, the alternative interpretation of the movemevemtn of the flap to the right to open the aperture would not lead to the flap contacting the detector.

      reading it all again, it seems that this, or a similar, inconsistency is also in the text:
      D1 [003], second sentence: "When in the open position flap 105 contacts an actuator/detector 116 associated with counter 111 causing the counter 111 to increment.", so increment when in contact in open position.
      vs third sentence "In this way in order to fill the jug the flap 105 is manually moved from the closed to the open position revealing aperture 104 and resulting in the automatic incrementation of the counter 111." so increment when loosing contact.
      How did you deal with this?

      Delete
    5. During the exam I read over this paragraph 5 times in confusion because it didnt make any sense while looking at the drawing. At the end I decided to go with the text which turned out to be the correct answer, but I think this question could be appealed.

      S

      Delete
    6. Eh Roel, honestly I read it so fast that I di't noticet that inconsistency.

      Delete
    7. ... and i just assumed that counter 111 increase on the contact with actuator 116 when flap 105 is in open position

      Delete
    8. With respect to 11.2 I saw an inconsistency between the drawings and paragraph 003. In my view the drawing cannot be seen as a potential accidental erroneous. I considered this as an obvious error in the prior art which the skilled person would directly notice. A skilled person would correct embodiment of D1 with minimal changes (preferably without changing the wording and/or meaning of the wording). He would shift the wording "OPEN" and "CLOSED" rather then changing the word CONTACT into e.g. "DISCONNECT" or "LOOSING CONTACT". This would result in a consistent embodiment 1 which is novelty destroying over claim C.1.1. Therefor the answer to 11.2 should be False in my view. However, the examiner's report completely ignores the inconsistency between the drawing and paragraph 003.

      @ Roel, is my consideration correct?

      Delete
    9. not just 11.2 - 14.3, 16.1 and 18.4 also unsure.

      Delete
  13. In my view 18.1 should be False in stead of True, since the water level detector detect a specific/predermined amount of water and not an amount of water (which can be more or less then the water level is able to detect).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please refer to the claims analysis blog, where this topic was extensively discussed.

      http://pre-exam.blogspot.nl/2018/02/pre-exam-2018-our-answers-to-claims.html

      Delete
  14. Q18.4 should be False, because the statement provides novelty arguments (..none
    of the documents D1, D2 or D3 disclose a water level detector), while the examiners report provides the arguments for inventive step (.. arriving at
    such a detector from a combination of the teachings of these documents is not
    obvious...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please refer to the claims analysis blog, where this topic was discussed. There, a few other candidates indicated that the statement should be false as they considered the argument to be incomplete without a reference to common general knowledge next to D1, D2 and D3.

      http://pre-exam.blogspot.nl/2018/02/pre-exam-2018-our-answers-to-claims.html

      Delete
  15. Hi,
    How many diferences are present between DeltaPatents and EPO examiner report?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The DeltaPatents answer to both parts would have attracted 100 marks.

      The only difference between our answer and the Examiner's Report is that the Examiner's Report gave full marks for both T and F for 12.2 and 12.4. As a consequence, you may have obtained upto 4 marks more than you could have calculated from our answers.

      Delete
    2. It is clear from the Exam Report that they consider the correct answer to be that counter must be in preample and its specific for-feature in the char part. Are they serious?
      If prior art shown “An apparatus comprising a processor, an input service, an indicator light for indicating an on/off status of the apparatus, and an output device”, ie a computer, do they want “An apparatus comprising a cabin, fout wheels, a steering wheel and an indicator light, chatactetized in that the indicator light is for indicating a left/right turn”, I.e a car? The latter indicator light is a completely different device than the first, so putting it in the preamble for the car is completely wrong! It is not about the words as such, but the words in contxt, as the skilled person understands them!
      Further, the two-part form must only be used “if appropriate” to clearly distinguish from the closest prior art. It is highly inappropriate to suggest that the prior art would have shown an indicator light of the correct technical meaning. So, not allowed to use it, the Rule itself is clear.
      Similar for the counter.

      Delete
    3. I agree.

      Statement 12.2:
      claim II.1: "characterised by a counter configured to automatically increment in response to
      water being added to the jug"
      General part of D1:
      "counting device, typically installed on the
      lid, to indicate the number of filtering cycles carried out since a filter cartridge within the
      jug was last replaced, in order to determine the level of exhaustion of the filter cartridge.
      The number indicated by the device is incremented each time the user opens the lid of
      the jug."
      Third embodiment of D1, [005]:
      "Figure 3 shows a third embodiment where the counter 111 is manually
      incremented by a user pressing actuator/detector 116. Thus, a user can determine when
      the jug has been filled and increment the counter."

      Examiner's Report:
      "The third embodiment of
      D1 discloses a counter, but not a counter configured to automatically
      increment in response to water being added to the jug. Strictly, the counter
      should be mentioned in the preamble of claim II.1. Nevertheless, it is possible
      to consider the counter being automatically incremented as a single feature,
      so that the present two-part form would also be correct. For this reason it was
      exceptionally decided to award marks for both answers."

      So, totally differnt type of device:
      the counter of the claim:
      - automaticlly increments
      - this incrementing happens WHEN water is (being) added
      where the counter of the third embodiment of D1:
      - is manually incremented
      - incrementing is done AFTER the jug has been filled.

      So it is a completely differnt type of counter. The functional feature cannot be decoupled from the word "counter" and the feature MUST be considered a single feature. It is incorrect that the Examiner'S Report considers this another possible reading, it is the ONLY possuble reading. Putting the counter in the pre-amble is simple wrong. There are other statements where both T and F should have been given full marks, but not this one.

      Delete
    4. Still a counter, a different counter but a counter.

      Delete
    5. No, that is just a name that the (fictitious) author of the document gave to it. Under the EPC, it is all about what it is, i.e., what the skilled person understands it to be. If the counter would have been called a tree but would still be a counter, it is not a tree but still a counter.

      Delete
  16. Hi G, I am also considering an appeal. How can we get in contact? Maria

    ReplyDelete
  17. Does anyone know how to file an appeal and the Appeal process?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I can't find anything about appealing exams. Here is the link I went on. Can someone who knows or appealed before help?

    https://www.epo.org/learning-events/eqe.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those who appealed are not in this blog and DeltaPatents, see above Roel, cannot speak about it. I know that the cost is about 1000€ and I think that it nees to be filed within 1 month from receoving results. We can group together and file 1 appeal and share the cost. If successfull, thw coat is reimbursed by EPO. Maria

      Delete
    2. I created a mail for those who are interested to file a common appeal and discuss or if somebody would like to help us with their service, ideas, experience. The email is: preeqe2018@gmail.com

      Delete
    3. Art 24 REE

      Note Art 24(1)!!!!!!

      http://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/2017/etc/se2/p2.html

      Exam Secretariat can tell you where to send to

      Each candidate gets an individual pass/fail decision, so I think you cannot file an appeal jointly.

      Fee is 6xbasix fee so 1200 euro’s. Gone if negative decision. Refunded if withdrawn early, but not written anywhere what early means and what the conditions are. Maybe as long as before summons? Maybe earlier as long as no preliminair opinion??

      Read old decisions to know what type of arguments to make. Certainly make time argument - see Art 24(1): is violation of provision of EQE regulations. For issues as to the merits, only succesful is serious mistake. See decisions cited above, D 3/14, D 6/15, D 2/17.

      Delete
    4. As auxiliary request, ask Supervisory Board to act if Examination Board is not willing to award more marks. Supervisory Board could force them, or lower the pass level from 70 to, e.g., 65 (or whatever is needed to get to a pass rate of 76% as in 2015-2017).

      And request the new Quality Exam Conmittee to act. They didnot do their job well, or were they not yet installed?

      Delete
  19. See even D 1/17 of last year

    ReplyDelete
  20. I would suggest the appeal to be based on several ambiguous or controversial questions as detailed above too i.e Questions 14.3, 16.1, 18.4. Don't appeal based on one question. The questions above are arguable.

    ReplyDelete
  21. ambiguous questions affects timing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, how many time did we spent on question 12? Seriously.

      Delete
  22. We are currently scheduling our courses for next EQE. And, as part of that, we want to POLL whether there is sufficient interest in two new Pre-Exam focused courses.

    We are considering to start two very intense courses, each of one block, for candidates already having some legal knowledge and some claims analysis experience, such as resitters, but who need more knowledge and practice to be successful at the Pre-Exam. Questions/Cases and a thorough discussion of the Answers, organized per key topic, will get the candidate to a higher level, and show the candidate where to improve further. We consider to offer:

    a) a 5-DAY LEGAL course (1 block)
    Thematically organized along key topics of the EPC and the PCT, largely Q&A-based and also including some lecturing on key topics, as well as a discussion of a legal part of one or two pre-exams ;

    b) a 4-DAY CLAIMS ANALYSIS course (1 block)
    Thematically organized along the claims analysis topics tested in the Pre-Exam, and also including some lecturing to introduce themes, and lots of practice with small cases as well as (part of) the pre-exams.

    Please send us an email at training@deltapatents.com if you would be interested to participate in one of these courses or both. With sufficient interest, we can develop the courses and organize the courses in autumn. It is a POLL, so there is no obligation on you if you say are interested.

    Of course we will continue to organize our 12-day Pre-Exam Integrated course (4 blocks of 3 days interactive sessions from June to January) and its Distance Learning version (2-/3-weekly 1,5-hour video conference sessions from mid April to January) for full pre-exam syllabus coverage, and our Pre-Exam Methodology courses (1-day Legal; 2-day claims analysis) for final exam preparation. These courses target first time sitters as well as resitters that need to acquire a lot of knowledge and that want to distribute their study time over a longer period.

    For our existing courses for Pre-Exam and Main Exam preparation, see https://www.deltapatents.com/eqe-pre-exam.html and the brochures and links therein.

    The DeltaPatents team

    ReplyDelete
  23. Flora, but if there are statements (in my opinion not only in question 12) that even the Board himself is not able to say if True or False, the time of the entire examination is affected, because you are imposed to search, and spent time, for an impossible answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Completely agree. unclear questions affects timing hugely. If one wants to APPEAL, do it on all ambiguous questions and mention timing issues too.

      Surely, the board knew that this year claim analysis has HUGE timing issues. How can we at least give feedback on this.

      Pre-EQE cannot be a pass or fail because candidates run out of time, otherwise what is the point of the test.

      Delete
  24. Furthermore, in the claim part you can't skip to another question like in legal part if you find it hard, because the claim part questions are all connected and you have to follow a wire, so if a question is unclear in a serious issue.
    Neverthless lot of candidates made it and we have to accept it. Of course sit the examination in your own language is a vary big advantage regarding time.

    In my opinion 30 minute more would be fair.

    A. V.

    ReplyDelete
  25. It should not be so hard for the Board to notice that this year claim analysis part required extra time when the statistics of questions 19 & 20 (or questions 9 & 10) are checked. I think it may be requested in the appeals that the success rate of the last two questions in both part to be checked.
    B.K.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Pre-EQE is an important step for candidates. In some cases, candidates may lose jobs and/or it will certainly affect their lives & families.

    This year's claim analysis is just BAD BAD BAD! They have totally got the timing wrong and the complexity of the subject matter wrong.

    APPEAL on ambiguous questions but definitely mention time issues. Q19 & Q20 and Q9 & 10 stats will be interesting.

    I'm sure those who've passed would also agree that time was a big issue. Even experienced attorneys & Delta Patents agree that timing this year was not sufficient for claim analysis.

    It was a disappointing claim analysis!

    Marks around 67-69 - worth an Appeal? what does everyone think.

    Jay

    ReplyDelete
  27. The claim analysis this year is so bad that it is worth appealing. Some questions are still very confusing even when the post the answers.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I think that 11.2 has a chance for succesful appeal. This question was clearly ambiguous and the paper comprises obvious mistakes.

    ReplyDelete
  29. why was 12.4 both true and false?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was considered too hard for a pre-exam sitter.

      Delete
    2. Can you not read the examiner's report? It says it in there.

      Delete
    3. 12.4 was not so ambiguous. It was clear that more details were needed in the claim. There were other questions a lot more ambiguous. I just managed to pass (77%) now what am I supposed to do for the main exam?

      Delete
  30. This pre-examinations 2018 was considerably harder than all of the previous for:

    - time to get trhough
    - clarity and inconsistency of description, statements and drawing.

    Board should consider that and lower the pass rate at "50" marks like 2012 and 2013, because lot of candidates that failed this year would easily passed the earlier examinations.

    A. V.

    ReplyDelete
  31. So what exactly is the point of time pressure in the EQE? In real life, attorneys have months to prepare applications, oppositions, and the like. On the other hand, why make an exam 7.5 hours long? Is it to get into the Guiness book of Records??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You haven't been in the job for very long, have you?

      Delete
    2. @ Anonymous 28 March 2018 at 11:03: Do you really have clients that are willing to pay for "months to prepare applications, oppositions, and the like"? Not in my world! Looks like it is you who tries to get into the Guiness book of Records

      Delete
    3. IPREE says that EQE examination is normally held once in a year. It should be a possibility, since this session was compromised, give a chance to resit the exam maybe in september.

      Delete
  32. It is pretty clear that the exam was too hard this year and sooner or later the Committee is going to recognize that.

    Obviously there are only two possibilities:
    - make a new exam in June or July for the claims part
    - give 10 or 15 bonus points in 2019 to people who have failed this year

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why in 2019? Better give those points this year! It is to compensate this year's design flaw!

      Delete
    2. What is the chance the EPO will consider e.g. 5-10 points as compensation for a miscalculation of the time which was required to make this exam? How can you prove this in appeal?

      By the way, it is quite strange you fail with more than 55 points, why actually? It is not the real exam (which lead to a qualification) and only a way to force people to study and to filter out the ones who are not on track. In my view this pre-exam goes beyond its purpose.

      Delete
    3. Zero.

      To your second: because the marking is such that guessing gives statisrically about 30 marks. So 65 would be halfway guessing and 100. For some reason the Sup Board decided for 70, not 65. But any pass level is Ok, as long as the exam would be designed appropriately. Or as long as the marking would be adjusted appropriately, as is done at every exam at highschools and universities.

      Delete
    4. That process is called Normalization.

      See e.g., https://www.ericdigests.org/2003-4/score-normilization.html and http://www.cbse.nic.in/Normalisation%20Formula%20v8_2013.pdf.

      Strange indeed that the EQE does not have this. “Not invented here”, arrogance or ignorance? Never too late to learn and to to corrective action!

      Delete
  33. Let's all agree on 12 bonus points, please. Less would be unfair. More unrealistic.

    ReplyDelete
  34. How do we notify the Supervisory board about the issues with pre-EQE this year. Surely, this year's claim analysis were not fit for purpose and I agree with comments above that they should compensate. maybe 5-10 marks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What about sending them a letter? Via de Exam Secretariat?

      Provide arguments, refer to the comments on this blog for more arguments.

      In parallel, file as many appeals as possible, on all statements mentioned above, on too long as it was and on even more time issues due to the ambiguous ones (D1 Fig 1 and [003], 12.2 and 12.4).

      And argue in letter to Supervisory Board why needed to address them: pass level is their power (not Exam Board), supervising and overruling is their power, fair treatment and legitimate expectations is their power.

      I hope the Supervisory Board will take action!

      Delete
    2. Hi Anonymous.

      Are you planning to write to the supervisory board?

      I think your points are excellent and I hope the supervisory board would act now.

      Delete
  35. If people complain to the Board, maybe they will actually take it seriously. This year's claim analysis were ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm convinced that there is a huge mistake of the claim analysis this year. They cannot produce such a poor claim analysis with little thoughts. Jobs are at stake!

    The board must act NOW. Apply compensation for fairness for those at least between 65-69%.

    I pass but I do feel this year's exam is very unfair. Claim analysis in previous years were no where near like the one this year. Claim analysis 2018 has a completely different scope; too complex and confusing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The more people write to the supervisory board the better. This year claim analysis was terrible and it is so frustrating.

      Delete
  37. And timing was a massive massive problem so 5-10 marks would be absolutely fair. i ended up guessing the last 2 questions and got lucky.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Has anyone written to the supervisory board about this year's claim analysis.

    Jay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only thing which may help is filing an appeal.

      Delete
    2. Many appeals

      Delete
  39. Did all official results letters match the published results (the list of marks per EQEreg published on 21 March)? Or any differences?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Roel,

      My official results letter matched the published result.

      -Kristian

      Delete
    2. I haven't received the official results letter.

      Delete
    3. Ok, I received the official results letter today and it confirms the published results.

      Delete
  40. Dear Roel,

    Please can you provide feedback to the pre-EQE exam board at your meeting with them in October that reflects the posts in this blog and elsewhere about this year's claim analysis. Namely, the claim analysis are significantly more difficult, full of confusing and controversial questions as well as a lack of time to complete the exam. Controversial questions contribute to timing problems.

    Like many other candidates, I am concerned at the direction that the Exam Board are taking the pre-EQE exam. It seems that the pre-EQE is becoming a main EQE exam and this should not be the case. The pre-EQE should be designed to filter out unprepared candidates. Many able candidates who did not pass this year would of passed pre-EQE exam in previous years. In mot cases, candidates that sat the pre-EQE in previous years had a much less hurdle to clear that candidates doing the pre-EQE this year. This does call into question the integrity of the pre-EQE exam.

    Many candidates and especially in private practice may not be allowed or supported to continue with their EQE exam as a result of the claim analysis this year. I urge Delta Patent to raise this point with the exam board.

    We feel that the pre-EQE has lost its purpose. It feels like another main exam for candidates now.

    ReplyDelete
  41. True, many candidates will not be supported or be allowed to continue with EQE qualifications.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Admittedly, I've lost faith in the pre-EQE a bit this year.

    The exam board needs to make sure the claim analysis is not full of confusing and complex questions with mistakes in specs, drawings etc... They also need to make sure the exam can be done within the 4 HOURS.

    Everyone I spoken to struggled with the timing. Not fair compared to other years.

    ReplyDelete
  43. There is a possibility to appeal based on R.10(3) IPREE. If the exams of previous years were designed for 4 hours (and yes they are..), the 2018 pre-exam is certainly not. With respect to candidates of previous years, the 2018 candidates were not treated with a comparable test. This is very strange and indeed not very fair......

    ReplyDelete
  44. Bad first action for them (or were they appointed too late to prevent this bad design?): Examination Committee V shall be entrusted with the quality management of the papers. It shall advise the other Examination Committees in this respect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This year's paper especially claim analysis was POORLY constructed. Not the same level of attention given to it than in previous years I feel. Lack of time is very unfair. They have overstepped the time this year.

      I did pass but I have provided my feedback to the Exam Sect. I think it was a bad & confusing claim analysis part.

      Please let the EQE board know your thoughts. They won't change unless we act.

      Delete
  45. As stated by others, the integrity of pre-EQE is questionable this year. Claim analysis was confusing and the hurdle this year is significantly higher than in previous years.

    Time to complete the exam - nowhere near sufficient.

    PJ

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'm going to come across as smug... but if you score below 70% on that paper, you don't deserve to be a patent attorney. Yes, it was harder than normal. But it was still far easier than doing the day job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment is not only unfortunate but also sad (just not to use a more plain word). The pre-examination is not supposed to assess if you can do the daily job, it is to prevent unprepared candidates from sitting the main examination.
      Besides, how do you then with your wonderful statement explain that in the pre-exam, someone with 20 questions wrong may fail (1 statement wrong per question) and someone with 24 questions wrong may pass (14 questions fully correct).

      I think you lost a good moment to keep your "keyboard" shut.

      PS: Just in case you're wondering, I passed the pre-exam in a previous year.

      Delete
    2. What do you mean by 70%? By the way, 70 points is not 70%. In % it's much higher. To pass the exam and get at least 70 points, it means you need at least 80-82% of correct statements.
      What is unfair in this exam, it's the grading system. The one who got 69 points and failed may have more correct statements in total than the other one who got 70 point and passed.

      Delete
    3. To Anonymous (18.10)

      Its people like you that makes this profession slightly off putting. The questions raised by others was not about the 70% pass mark. It was about the fairness of the pre-EQE exam compared to other years. Plenty of capable candidates i.e. your colleagues fail NOT because they are incompetent, but because of the confusion caused by the questions. Further, the exam this year was not designed to be done within 4 hours. Alot of candidates this year ran out of time and ended up guessing the last 2 questions. Some got lucky and some didn't - Is this the way exams should be based on. The integrity of pre-EQE 2018 is questionable.

      You should support your colleagues. You will have bad moments too with these EQE exams and just because someone fails does not mean they are not competent to be a patent attorney. In fact, people who fail before and pass many times go on to be brilliant attorneys.

      For the record, I pass but like everyone else - I don't feel this year's claim analysis was good. The hurdle this year is significantly higher than previous pre-EQE exams. The allowed time is insufficient. FACT.

      Delete
    4. Well said Will.

      The Board does need to look at the claim analysis this year. Claim analysis was far too difficult. They have overblown it this year.

      pre-EQE cannot turn into another main EQE exam, otherwise there is no point in having a pre-EQE.

      Delete
    5. It is sad to see that a few candidates who pass the pre-EQE think it is ok to belittle their colleagues who are just as smart but were hampered by a very very poor claim analysis paper with a huge time disadvantage compared to previous years.

      I echo everyone else thoughts - this year exam was not fit for its intended purpose for the reasons which I'm sure everyone knows by now.

      I hope Delta Patents will actually provide feedback to reflect the issues identified in this blog to the exam board at their meeting.

      Delete
    6. or people should help provide some argumentation & comments to the Exam sect or Appeal to preeqe2018@gmail.com.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous (18.10)

      Your comments leaves a bad taste. Shame

      This year's candidates faced a more difficult, confusing, time constrained exam than previous candidates in other years, which they only needed 50% to pass. This year's paper does not feel fair or right.

      Therefore, please show respect your fellow trainees.

      Delete
  47. I'm not sure if Anonymous (18.10) has any understanding of the daily job. You don't go into work and answer multiple choice questions on badly written claims & spec, and also be hamstrung by insufficient time to complete it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. For those who want to appeal or help with good argumentation or language ambiguity, write to preeqe2018@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I cannot find information regarding how to actually file an appeal and how to do the payment? Can I use for example a secure smart card connection (with a help of my tutor, who is European patent attorney) and file and pay the appeal fee from there, or how does it work? Does anyone know?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ask the Exam Secretariat!

      Delete
    2. Has anyone got a reply from the Exam Sec for appeal.

      Delete
  50. I am curious how many people filed an appeal and to which statements/grounds. Can people who filed an appeal comment?

    ReplyDelete
  51. Still annoyed about this year's pre-EQE claim analysis. A much bigger hurdle this year.
    I hope Roel/Delta Patent Team will provide feedback at their meeting with the EQE board.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Annual meeting of EQE tutors and members of the EQE examination committees 2018 will take place on Thursday, 18 October 2018 in Munich.
      As every year, all tutors that previously attended such meeting were informed about the date by the European Patent Academy and any tutor is welcome.

      Delete
    2. Hi Roel,

      I be interested to know what is generally discussed at these meetings. Will you be providing feedback based on your personal opinion and also opinions that reflect the blog. I think the main issue this year is the claim analysis (lack of time, significant increased in difficulty, more obscure questions). I believe these issues have been extensively explored on your blog. What are the likely outcomes from these meeting. It would be good to hear if any of these meetings lead to anywhere.

      Delete
    3. @Anonymous 21 May 2018 at 11:00:

      You can see a report of the meeting in every December issue of epi Information - https://patentepi.com/en/epi-information/archived-issues.html. E.g., for 2017: https://information.patentepi.com/issue-4-2017/tutors-report-on-the-eqe-2017-papers.html

      And you can ask your own tutor about his/her experience and his/her contributions. As said, all are invited, so you can give your input via him/her as well.

      We provide our professional opinions as well as a summary and/or a selection of the feedback from our blogs, which may deviate from our professional opinions.

      If your tutor did not receive the invitation (e.g., because he/she is not known as a tutor e.g. because he/she never went to the meeting), you can draw/his attention to it - and monitor the EPO website (Academy / Eve nts) when registration for the meeting becomees possible. Registered tutors will receive an email which indicates where any questions can be send to.

      Delete
  52. Hi, i was wondering if someone knows if there are appeals filed?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope candidates have appealed. This year's paper (especially claim analysis) is shockingly bad.

      Delete
  53. Article 24(3) REE provides that " If the Examination Board or the Secretariat considers the appeal to be admissible and well-founded, it shall rectify its decision (usually reeferred to asinterlocutory revision) and order reimbursement of the fee for appeal. If the appeal is not allowed within two months from notification of the decision, it shall be remitted to the Disciplinary Board of Appeal of the EPO."

    So, the deadline for allowing interlocutory revision or for passing the appeal on to the Disciplionary Board is about now (10 days plus 2 months after the result letters were dispatched):

    Have any interlocutory revisions been succesful?
    If so, which statements and which grounds did you submit that convinced the Examination Board?

    Have some of you been informed that your appeal was remitted to the Disciplinary Board?
    If so, which statements did you challenge and on which grounds?

    M.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A candidate drew my attention to an update to the Examiner's Report that has just been oublished on the EQE webpages.

      It shows that for 4.4, 5.3 and 13.1, both answers are now being considered correct in view of comments submitted during appeals.

      No comments were added to the Examiner's Report with respect to other statements, e.g. not to 11.2, 14.1, 18.1 and 18.4 which were extensivelty discussed by some of our readers on the Pre-Exam 2018 claims analysis blog. I donot know whether that means that interlocutory revision on thise statements was not succesful or not.

      The new Examiner's Report indicates:

      W.r.t. statement 4.4: orginal answer, supplemented with: "In the present case of statement 4.4, the applicant has already received the decision to grant and therefore it is correct to answer “true”. In view of arguments raised on appeal the examining division responsible for issuing a technical opinion under Article 25 EPC may consider third party observations, which were filed after notification of the decision to grant. On account of this rare possibility the statement 4.4 has been neutralised and marks are awarded for both answers."

      Statement 5.3: original answer supplemented with "In view of arguments raised on appeal it appears that the statement 5.3 could be understood as referring to the concept of “entry” versus “early entry” into the European phase with regard to 26 February 2018. This would additionally require the lifting of the processing ban before the 31-month time limit has expired by filing a request for early entry (cf. GL E-IX, 2.8 and OJ EPO 213, 156). Thus in view of this interpretation it was decided to neutralise the statement 5.3 and award marks for both answers".

      Statement 13.1: original answer was: "The dependency of claim II.3 is not correct (Article 84 EPC). Claim II.3 should be dependent only on claim II.1. The application does not disclose an embodiment with both a detector operable to detect a flap moving and one detecting a level of a liquid and thus, claim II.3 that covers this possibility when depending on claim II.2 is unsupported".
      Now replaced with "The application does not explicitly disclose an embodiment with both a detector operable to detect a flap moving and one detecting a level of a liquid. Nevertheless, since this subject-matter is disclosed in the dependent claims, i.e. in the application as filed, it is permissible to amend the description so that it includes this subject-matter (Guidelines F-IV, 6.6). In view of these arguments both possible answers are considered to be correct.
      For this reason it was exceptionally decided to award marks for both answers."

      The general inclusion of the comments for these statements in the Examiner's Report may be an indication that the answers will be / are being reviewed for all candidates as was done in, e.g., 2015. However, no such indication was given in the Examiner's Report, so we will probably need to wait and see whetehr someone cvan report a change in exam result without having filed an appeal.

      Delete
    2. Quite surprising: hardly comments in your blogs on the legal questions and loads of comments on the claims analysis part, but 2 legal statements reconsidered by the Examination Board and only 1 claims analysis statement!!

      M.

      Delete
    3. May you please post the Board of Appeal's number decision?

      Delete
    4. Hi Stefano, interlocutory revision decisions donot get published. So I hope the candidates who got succesful interlocutory revision share their reasoning with us using these blogs, as well as those that were not succesful!

      M.

      Delete

    5. Roel,
      I have called the EPO today and yes! they will apply the rectify the decision for these questions for all candidates who failed based on questions 4.4, 5.3, 13.1. Cheers!

      Delete
    6. Congratulations for all that passed due to rectification of the decision!

      Delete
    7. And handsup for those that appealed and made the cases!

      Also handsup for the Examination Board etc for rectifying the decisions of those that did not appeal. There seems to be no legal basis for such type of rectification... but we can all be glad they do - as there seems to be no other type of rectification possibility after the appeal term has lapsed. (The normal legal principle is that if a decision is not appealed, it becomes final and can then no longer be changed.)

      What remains is the question whether more statements were succesully appealed and, if so, why those are not publicly rectified and presumably also not for other candidates than those tnat appealed).

      GV, Roel: what do you think?

      M.

      Delete
    8. Hi, I don't quite understand the comment added to 5.3 about early entry vs entry and why false was also accepted. If you want the early entry request to be successful don't you need to pay the filing fee, too. Or in which scenario is that statement false?

      Delete
    9. Hi M, (also in reaction to your comment of 12:15)

      I donot know whether more statements were succesully appealed or not.

      There was a lot of discussion on several claims analysis statements in our blogs, but (so far?) only one seems to be succesfully challenged (13.1), whereas there had indeed been much less discussion on the legal questions, where 4.4 and 5.3 came a bit as a surprise to me (they were not discussed that extensively on our blogs).

      In 2015 and 2016, appeals resulted in the rectification of pre-exam decisions also of candidates that didnot appeal (see Addedndum to pre-exam 2015 examiner's report). As far as I am aware, this did not happen however in 2017. I donot know what criteria the Board applies to decide whether to widely apply the rectification or only to those that appealed - and whether they would decide statement-per-statement to do it or not. I appreciate that they do rectify widely even though I understand your argument that it seems to be at odds with what you call normal legal principles.

      Delete
    10. @Anonymous 18 June 2018 at 16:48
      It also puzzles me... The amended examiner's report says "This [=early entry] would additionally require the lifting of the processing ban before the 31-month time limit has expired by filing a request for early entry ..." The statement says "One step that must be taken for validly entering the European phase with PCT-E today, 26 February 2018, is to pay the filing fee", so the statement does not specify that payment is the only act, but rather clearly hints that there could be more steps needed (the express request) than just this one step of paying the filing fee.
      As I said above, 5.3 came as a surprise.

      Delete
    11. Do you think this reasoning could also apply to 5.4?

      Delete
    12. No, that is F because only needs to file the request for Examination by 11/2017 + 6m = 5/2018. So not needed at entry/early entry, but can be later.

      Delete
    13. Maybe if you read the OJ 213,
      156 and the exam versions in the three languages, that will bring some clarity?

      Delete
  54. Successful appeals of everybody who appealed in the group we formed under preeqe2018@gmail.com! Great team work! People appealed with 67, 68 and 69 points have received pass marks!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Which questions were successful?
    BILLY BOB

    ReplyDelete
  56. ... and congratulations, of course. Just in time for a weekend of celebration :-)
    BILLY BOB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Please drop a mail with your questions to preeqe2018@gmail.com.

      Delete
  57. Would this also apply to those who haven't appealed.

    ReplyDelete
  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  59. This is good but there are so many more controversial questions particularly in the claim analysis set. Can the EPO also decide on these or are the three rectified questions the only final outcome now. I think there are still more questions that should be corrected in claim analysis, particularly 14.1, 18.1 and 18.4. Has anyone appealed for these questions?

    ReplyDelete
  60. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  61. It just shows you how confusing these questions were now that the EPO has had to correct 5 different questions. These "confusing" questions cost candidates a lot of time in an exam, and unfairly punishes candidates

    ReplyDelete
  62. Does anyone know how this will be informed?

    They made a bit of a mess with this paper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can expect to, if applicable, receive a letter with your new score and pass grade. If still fail, no letter (if you didnot appeal). If already passed, no letter with higher score.

      Delete
  63. Dear G V

    preeqe2018@gmail.com

    Are you able to let us know what other questions you have based your appeal on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be nice to know if other questions have been raised in the APPEAL, particularly the claim analysis section.

      Can anyone let us know.

      A.M

      Delete
  64. Are we expecting the EPO to consider further questions

    MA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess not from interlocutory revision, as those must all have been decided or the case passed in to the DBA.
      But I would expect the DBA to overturn a few from the claims analysis part, as there were many debateble. Hopefully they will decide before Main exam enrolment closes and well in time for a good Main exam preparation!

      M.

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    2. How long can we expect the DBA to issue a decision.

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    3. Not predictable: D 3/14 (successful) was decided on 1 Sept 2014 so within a few months only, whereas D 2/15 (not successful) was decided only on 4 May 2016 so after about a year... (see http://www.epo.org/law-practice/case-law-appeals/advanced-search.html)

      Good luck!

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    4. Do we still expect more interlocutory revision decisions to be decided or has the time limit expired for Interlocutory revisions.

      Delete
  65. Do you guys think that there is a possibility the EPO would still consider 14.3 and 18.4.

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    1. Donot know. Those two are certainly more debatable than 4.4 and 5.3 (which are in my view perfectly fine if one takes the scope of the question into account and does not look for exotic exeptions - I conciously disregarded that the Examining Division could take third party observations as to eg Art 123(2) into account during limitation proceedings).
      But we will know as soon as a candidate informs us that his appeal was succesful for 14.1, 14.3, 18.1, 18.4 or another claims analysis statement!

      M.

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    2. I would like to remind you that pre-EQE may be answered only with True or False, so exotic or not, exceptions or not, if there is anything on the merits, it results in an ambiguous question/statement. We have seen many examples of these 'grey zones' or 'exotic zones' in pre-EQE 2018. This is why several people raised the question in March: what was the purpose of pre-EQE again? In addition, is a candidate not given the right to contravene an ambiguous question not in contradiction with EPO's own 'right to be heard'? It is also interesting that only a few appealed actually but now we are looking for those exotic candidates and if they by coincidence also found some exotic exceptions which apply to the questions you are after!

      Delete
    3. How do you know / why do you think that "only a few appealed actually"?

      M.

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    4. Hi M,

      Reading your previous comments. Is there anyway to see publicly if the exam questions have been referred to the DBA.

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    5. > Is there anyway to see publicly if the exam questions have been referred to the DBA.

      No. Best kept secret.

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  66. Does anyone understand what was added to the Examiners' Report comments to statement 5.3:
    "In view of arguments raised on appeal it appears that the statement 5.3 could
    be understood as referring to the concept of “entry” versus “early entry” into
    the European phase with regard to 26 February 2018. This would additionally
    require the lifting of the processing ban before the 31-month time limit has
    expired by filing a request for early entry (cf. GL E-IX, 2.8 and OJ EPO 213,
    156). Thus in view of this interpretation it was decided to neutralise the
    statement 5.3 and award marks for both answers."
    The statement i
    s"One step that must be taken for validly entering the European phase with PCT-E
    today, 26 February 2018, is to file the request for examination."
    where the expiry of 31 months is 28 February 2018 (so 26 February is early entry)?
    I donot understand it. The original statement, question and answer seemed perfectly OK?!!

    ST

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    1. I don't understand it either. There are so many other questions that should be corrected especially 14.3 and 18.4. When we can expect more interlocutory revision decisions to occur or has the interlocutory revision process now expired.

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    2. I don't understand the 5.3 reasoning either. Maybe it can be understood in German or French? I think that the English language statement and English language original Examiners' Report are absolutely clear and correct, while the added part can not be understood at all...

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  67. Guys, do we know the date that the last possible interlocutory revision expires. Can we expect the EPO to make more amendments to the answer based on the last interlocutory revision?

    Oti

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    Replies
    1. Interlocutory revision should have been done by 2 months after the notification of the decision, so by mid April + 2 months = mid June. So... all done -- see Article 24(3) of the Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representative.

      But... there is no term (and also no provision...) for deciding whether to allow both answers correct or not. Also not that it should be based on interlocutory revision or can also be of own motion from the Examination Board or Supervisory Board. Also not under what conditions, if at all, a certain statement is widely reconsidered or only for those that appealed that statement.

      Noone yet reported that they got a new results letter based on another reconsidered statement than 4.4, 5.3 or 13.1.
      Were no other statements succesful in interlocutory revision? Or were there (e.g., 18.4), but were they not widely applied in contrast to these three?
      Did anyone that donot appeal already get a letter that their result has been changed from fail to pass? Or have those letters so far only been send out to people that did appeal?

      M.

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  68. I received a letter from EPO with the final results and my answer sheet. Would they be changed?
    The Examination Secretariat will issue another letter?

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    1. If interlocutory revision was succesful, yes.

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  69. Why can't they just pass everyone who was between 65-70. Its clear this pre-Eqe is no good. Would be much fairer to pass those on the boundary.

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  70. The reasoning why the other answer would also be correct for 4.4 makes no sense to me. The question is about the grant proceedings and considering to reopen those in the timespan of 71(3)/decision to grant handover/ decision to grant/ mention of the grant - not explicitly, but implicitly in an unambigous manner.
    If identification of speculated situations that are not directly related to the question can be the reason for changing the answer, then ALL statements can probably be answered with the opposite answers as well. And if not all, then at least VERY MANY of the claims analysis part. If 4.4 and 5.3 are considered not unambiguous, then how it is possible that ONLY ONE claims analysis statement got both answers correct after reconsideration?!! As an example, 18.4 must be reconsidered as common general knowledge is not mentioned and tnat common general knowledge NEEDS to be considered is not at all far-fatched, exotic or speculative!!

    By the way, if you read the new argumentation to 13.1, you will note that the reasoning says that the original answer and reasing was wrong, whereas the reasoning is correct - unline the legal questions, wher they clarify that both answers can be argued to be correct.

    ST

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