Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Looking forward to tutoring Papers A & B in Maastricht for EQE 2019

I am proud to be joining the team in Maastricht to help with their EQE Paper A B C D  and Pre-Exam Training Courses.

The team are: Cees Mulder, Nyske Blokhuis, Natasja Duhayon and Isabelle Surdej.

I am part of the AB team - together with Natasja and Isabelle, we are preparing an exam methodology and step-by-step training program to deal with the challenges of the current papers. The benchmarking I did in February under EQE conditions was ideal to draft and test a step-by-step approach, and to think about how to deal with the chemical and electro-mechanical styles & practices. I may also be helping with the C course and the Pre-Exam Claims Analysis.
The AB training consists of 3-days in Maastricht (19-21 November 2018), followed by online assignments and contact with the tutors through the university's electronic learning environment. The groups are not large, so if you are interested, make sure you sign up quickly using the form here. Maastricht is also a wonderful place to visit for a couple of days with historic buildings, friendly people, good food/beer and a lively nightlife :-)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

EQE 2018 Paper C

Today I did paper C. If you want to look, here are official copies of the paper.

It felt very long, and it turns out it was 7 pages longer than 2017.

Most of the people I talked to had issues getting through everything, and the inventive step seemed very complicated to sort out. Almost every document had comments related to other documents, and some negative statements which were possibly meant to be teachings away.

There were some relatively straightforward novelty attacks (which you could do when you found them), but for the inventive step attacks you would usually read through everything first to see what the strongest was. By that time, there was not much time left to write out the attacks, and it was not so easy to pick the closest prior art. The comments I heard from others was that it was "overwhelming" and "endless reading".

In a few weeks you will get a copy of your answers. If you cut up the exam paper (with your childsafe scissors ,-),  and glued or taped it into your answer, check carefully to see if any piece is missing. Or whether there are pages missing. It can happen that pages get stuck together, and then are missed during scanning. Or pieces fall off. If you notice anything, notify the EQE secretariat.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

EQE 2018 Papers A & B

Today I did papers A and B. This is the second year that the technlogies are combined, so as expected a combination of electromechanical and chemistry skills were required. If you want to look, here are the official copies of the A and the B papers.
I think these papers were nicely balanced and they have clearly added extra guidance in each paper for those from the other field.

- A was about using lasers to create protrusions in glass. So this mainly mechanical (physics), with some slight chemistry style (instructions about what is essential). It was good paper, although I heard different views afterwards about the claim categories that should be used. It was 5 pages shorter than last year.

- B was a chemical paper, with a lot of electrical elements. I really liked this paper, even though it was longer than usual (a lot of information in the application and a lot in the prior art - it was 5 pages longer than in 2017).
I thought it was a good mix, and shows the advantages of mixing the technical fields. I have had cases like this in real-life with electrical and chemical elements, and you need to understand how to claim in both areas and to be able to judge novelty and inventive step.
They also provided an extra set of clean claims this year from the client so you could choose to work from the claims as filed or the claims as proposed by the client. Everybody I talked to had a different answer for claim 1, so it should be interesting to see what was actually expected.

In a few weeks you will get a copy of your answers. If you cut up the exam paper (with your childsafe scissors ,-),  and glued or taped it into your answer, check carefully to see if any piece is missing. Or whether there are pages missing. It can happen that pages get stuck together, and then are missed during scanning. Or pieces fall off. If you notice anything, notify the EQE secretariat.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

EQE 2018 Paper D

I sat the paper under exam conditions in Munich as a bench marker to give the examination committees some materials for their marking discussion. If you want to look through the paper yourself, here are official copies of the paper.

My impressions were that it was a reasonable D paper - they are never easy, but I think that there were a lot of parts that were do-able and they asked frequent EQE subjects.
Most of the DI questions were open, so you needed to make strict choices about what to do - otherwise you ran out of time. The DII was more manageable than last year, and anyone who is Dutch or has lived in The Netherlands for more than a year will have immediately understood the product produced by the invention.😋. DII had less exploitation to be discussed.

Click below for some more details and spoilers about the subjects you had to deal with

Monday, February 5, 2018

I will be an epi benchmarker in Munich for EQE 2018

Every year, the Examination Committees rely on papers from "benchmarkers" to help fine-tune the marking. These papers are made by people who have already passed the EQE, and ideally they are looking for people who can get around 50 points.
The benchmarkers take the exam at the same time as everybody else under the same exam conditions. Their answers are then be used in the group discussions about what should be awarded points, and what is insufficient.
I am happy to support this on behalf of the epi. To anyone who has passed the EQE (or passes it this year), please volunteer next year when the epi sends the email in October. It is very much appreciated by the Examination Board and Committees. 

Last year I only did the D paper - this year I will do all 4 papers (D, A, B, C) in Munich. I just bought my safety scissors in case I need to cut up the papers.


Good luck!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Indexed EPO Guidelines (1 Nov 2017) now available to order

Recently, the EPO announced that it would no longer make the Guidelines for Examination available on paper. Although the electronic version is useful for searching, some people still  prefer to use a paper version, particularly when studying.

My version is available to order as an A5-sized book. It is suitable as a desktop reference for everyday use, or to take to the EQE.

It includes my own 33-page Detailed Contents:
  • abbreviated titles for all sections - in almost all cases, a single line, so that you can scan through the contents faster
  • the contents for all sections are combined into one section at the front - this makes it easier to scan to find sections you are looking for, without having to first guess which part it might be in 
  • both the conventional section numbers and page numbers are given next to each title, speeding up finding the right page
  • sections indicated that have undergone a major amendment in the last 3 years, so you can identify possible EQE questions
It is lighter (690g) and smaller (21 x 14 x 2.8cm with 880 pages) than the official paper copy that used to be available. Note that the paper used is thin - 50 gr/m2 - to keep the size and weight low.
In comparison, the Visser book weighs 1220 g and is slightly bigger (24 x 16 3.6 cm with 950 pages).

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Suggested list of books & things to take to the Main & Pre-Exam - EQE 2018

Preparation:
- Check the exam times and plan to arrive early
- Since EQE2017, an additional 30 minutes has been given for papers A, B, C and D (REE OJ 2017 SE2 - page 43) to help candidates who do not have English, French or German as their mother language. The papers are designed to be made in the official REE duration (e.g. 5 hours for C and D) but an extra 30 minutes is given to make it at the exam (e.g. 5.5 hours for C and D).
- Read through the rules regarding the conduct of the exam (REE OJ 2017 SE2 - page 27-29). See the warning here about possible problems.
- See here what candidates from last year said about the location where you are taking the exam
- Be well rested in the days before the exam - many D candidates sleep badly on Monday night
- Take a suitcase with wheels, and limit the books to ones you have used in the last 6 months of your preparation
- After doing the papers of 2017, look at the Tutors' Report to help with interpreting the EQE Compendium (epi information 4/17 - pages 20-29)
- For the A & B papers, don't forget to do the Mock A (Examiners' Report) and Mock B (Examiners' Report) for additional practice. There is also a video explaining the philosophy behind the combined technology papers which were given for the first time at EQE 2017.
- If necessary, look here for some tips for reducing anxiety at the exam
- Be prepared to do the exams with a relatively small (possible as small as 60cm x 90cm) space. Normally, you can place books you don't need under the table.
- Look through the EQE Study Guide for other tips

General:
- Photo identification (passport or drivers license)
- several black or blue pens (gel-pens are preferred for quick writing, but they can run out quickly). Make sure the pens are not too thin or bring ones with different diameters - as your hand gets tired, it gets more difficult to hold a thin pen.
- no electronic devices: only a wrist watch with an analogue display (and without any additional options) is allowed on your desk during the exam.
- make arrangements to leave your phone & laptops at home or in your hotel or in a train station locker. Or take an A4 envelope with you. See the warning here about possible problems.
- correction roller
- highlighters for use when reading the exam paper (don't use blue highlighters on anything that will be handed in as it will not copy well)