Pre-Exam 2024 Examiner's Report is out!

The Examiner's Report for Pre-Exam 2024 has just been published (Compendium)!

Six (!) individual statements were neutralized, corresponding to 11 marks (numbering according to sequence in Examiners' Report):

  • 7.2 EP-M1-A1 forms part of the state of the art against the subject-matter of claim 1 of EP-M2 under Article 54(3) EPC
  • 18.3 The subject-matter of claim I.7 is not novel over D2
  • 19.2 For the following statement, assume that D1 is regarded as the closest prior art to the subject-matter of claim I.3: A valid argument that the subject-matter of claim I.3 involves an inventive step over D1 is that there is no hint in any one of documents D1, D2 and D3 that Product X has an antiviral effect.
  • 19.3 The subject-matter of claim I.6 is novel over D1.
  • 19.4 The difference of the subject-matter of claim I.8 over D3 as closest prior art may be regarded as not providing a technical effect.
  • 20.3 The subject-matter of claim II.10 complies with the requirements of Article 123(2) EPC.
Update 10 April 2024: I have been informed by several candidates that the results are now also out! Congratulations to all that passed!

Please feel invited to post your comments (using your name, initials or a nick name, not anonymously) to the respective parts of our Pre-Exam 2024 blogs, to which I have added the reasoning given in the Examiner's Report for the neutralizations:

Pre-Exam 2024 - our answers to the claims analysis questions (part 3 & part 4)

This year's claims analysis part 3 was about electronic cigarettes while part 4 was about a Product X for use in treating infectious diseases.

Our answers to both claims part are given below. We have numbered the questions and statements for easy reference in the discussion.

Pre-Exam 2024 - our answers to the legal questions (part 1 & part 2)

As the earlier Pre-Exams since 2021, this online EQE Pre-Exam was again held in four parts of 70 minutes each. The questions had to be taken, almost fully, from the screen (only the description of the application and the prior-art documents in the claims analysis parts were printable; also no calendars were provided).

Our answers to the legal part are given below. We have numbered the questions and statements for easy reference in the discussion.

Pre-Exam 2024: first impressions?

 To all who sat the Pre-Exam today:

What are your first impressions to this year's (and last) Pre-Exam

Any general or specific comments?
Were the legal topics 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? Which of the legal questions did you consider particularly difficult, and which relatively 'easy'?
Were the various aspects of claims analysis well balanced? How did you deal with the situation that only part of the paper (only the prior art) could be printed? 
(How) did you use the available online legal texts (EPO legal texts incl Guidelines, EPC Articles and Rules, RFees; PCT Applicant's Guide, PCT Treaty Articles and Rules)?

What is your expectation of the pass rate and the average score? How many marks do you expect to have scored in the legal part, in the claims analysis, and for the whole paper?

Were you able to finish each of the legal parts of the exam in the 70 minutes available for the appropriate part? And each of the claims analysis parts? 
Did you experience any technical difficulties during the exam (despite having taken the technical tests successfully)? Which? How and how fast were they solved? Did you use the search functions? Did you use annotation, sticky notes and other Wiseflow tools?

How did this year's paper compare to the earlier pre-exams w.r.t. the pre-exam as a whole, w.r.t. the legal part and w.r.t. the claims analysis part?

Our Pre-Exam 2024 blogs will open after the exam, 15 March 2024, 16:10 CET

Good luck with the last Pre-Exam: Pre-Exam 2024!

Our EQE blogs will be open for your comments and opinions w.r.t. the Pre-ExamABand shortly after the exams. We aim to post our (provisional) answers to the various papers shortly after the exam - for the Pre-Exam, we will use separate blog posts for the legal part and for the claims analysis part, and one for first impressions. 

Do not post any comments as to the merits of the answers of a certain exam paper/flow on the blogs while an exam/flow is still ongoing. Also, do not post the invigilator password or anything else that may be considered the breach of the exam regulations, instructions to the candidates, code of conducts, etc (see, e.g., EQE homepage, MyEQE, and the emails from the EQE secretariat).

All candidates, as well as tutors who helped candidates prepare for EQE 2023, are invited to contribute to the discussions on our EQE blogs! You can post your comments in English, French or German. You are invited to post your comments under your real name, but it is also possible to use a nickname if you wish to hide your identify.

The DeltaPatents team

NB: you can not comment to this blog post; comments will be accepted from a new blog post "First impressions" as of 16:10, i.e., which will become available after the Pre-Exam has finished.

EQE 2024 exam schedule now available: Pre-Exam

The "Information on the schedule for the EQE 2024 examination papers" (dated 27 July 2023) is now available on the EQE website

The EQE 2024 will take place online using the examination software Wiseflow, with substantially the same setup as the e-EQE/Online EQE of 2021, 2022 and 2023.

The pre-examination is again split into four parts of 70 minutes, each part having 5 questions (4 statement per question). Each part must be completed before the start of the next break, with the next set of questions only becoming available after the break. Once the time allowed for a part has elapsed, it will not be possible to go back to that part. The pre-examination lasts four hours and forty minutes.

No documents will be available for printing in the legal parts,

Candidates will be allowed to print the description of the invention as well as the prior-art documents for the claim analysis parts before the start of the appropriate part. The documents allowed for printing will be made available during the break preceding the relevant claim analysis part.

No calendars will be provided (see here).

Further, in view of the amendments to Rule 126(2)/127(2)/131(2) EPC per 1 November 2023 (1 day after the legal cutoff date acc IPREE, i.e., 31 October 2023), refer to: this blog post

(Note that that the document may be subject to minor changes as testing continues. Please check the EQE website for updates. E.g., for EQE 2023, an updated version of the document was published in December.)

Please feel invited to post your comments. You are allowed to post anonymously and do not need an account, but please give your name or a nickname for an easy and inter-human interaction.

Pre-Exam 2024: deemed notification: you can use to use the current "10-day rule" or the new version of Rule 126(2)/127(2)

The Supervisory Board of the EQE issued a decision on "Notification and time limit calculation" dated 26 June 2023:

"Candidates sitting the EQE 2024 (pre-examination and main examination) can use as legal basis Rules 126, 127 and 131 EPC as in force on 31 October 2023 or Rules 126, 127 and 131 EPC as in force on 1 November 2023."

So, when calculating time limits that run from the (fictitious) date of notification of a document, you are free to use:

  • either the current "10-day rule" for deemed notification (or true date of receipt if received later) according to current Rule 126(2)/127(2) (as in force until 31/10/2023) 

  • or the new PCT-like version (as in force from 1/11/2023) with deemed notification on date of dispatch/date of the document and a compensation for receipt later than 7 days (OJ 2022, A101, article 1(10)-(12); OJ 2022, A114, section IV; and OJ 2023, A29; also Guidelines E-II, 2.3 and 2.4).

This implies that the correct (True or False) answer will not depend on the version of the Rule used when the Pre-Exam answers.

Our Q&A book "Basic Legal Questions for Pre-Exam and Paper D" gives time limit calculations for both versions of R.126(2)/127(2) for all questions involving time limits calculated from he notification of a document.

decision on "Notification and time limit calculation" dated 26 June 2023: