EQE Implementing Regulations

The IPKat thanks David Holland for being the first to make him aware that the eagerly-awaited implementing regulations for the European Qualifying Examinations have now been published, and are available here.  Significantly, the anticipated rule about 3 and 4 year degree courses has failed to appear, with Rule 11(2) requiring only that the degree is a minimum of 3 years in duration.  Other than this, there appears to the IPKat's eyes very little that is contentious, with the possible exception of the new fee structure for taking the exams.  

(right: Tufty brushes up on his EPO case law for next year)

Under the new fee structure, re-taking will become progressively more expensive with each attempt after the first retake, with a 50% increase for the second retake, a doubling for the third retake and a quadrupling for the fourth and subsequent retakes.  The IPKat suspects that by the third or fourth retake the candidate (or, more likely, his/her employer) might possibly start to consider whether being a patent attorney was the right career choice.  Any candidates thinking of filing an appeal after being unsuccessful might think again when noting that the appeal fee will be six times the basic fee for taking the exam. 

Tufty wonders what made the Supervisory Board state in Rule 29 that the new regulations do not apply to this year's EQEs. Haven't they already been held?
EQE Implementing Regulations EQE Implementing Regulations Reviewed by David Pearce on Wednesday, April 01, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. Sorry, but there is indeed something highly contentious, and the Ipkat cannot ignore it.

    Indeed, regulation for paper C seems to have dropped the very relevant provision that in the prior art documents, at least one shall be in English, one in French and one in German.

    This cannot be merely ignored, and this is bad news, because it is a new step towards cultural levelling. The Ipkat, who is located in Britain, should comment this objectively and remove the sentence "there appears to the IPKat's eyes very little that is contentious".

  2. What about compensable fails?

  3. It's a matter of opinion whether this is contentious or not.

    Given that this is the only part of the EQEs were another language is required, and then only for one document, the removal of that requirement is, in my opinion, a minor issue.

    In practice, despite having reasonable French and having passed the EQEs already, I would have a document in French translated professionally if I needed to rely on it in an opposition (probably after getting the gist of it through a combination of my own French and auto-translation). And, of course, this of no help if the document is in German.

    So, I think the IPKat is right to conclude that removal of this requirement is non-contentious.

    That said, I hope the British candidates use their 30 mins or so of extra time (usually spent translating the relevant document) to good use!

  4. I have to say that dropping the last vestige of the language requirement does look like dumbing down to me. However, the good news isn't primarily for the Brits (as the anonymous contributor suggests) - can anyone imagine that the EPO would be trying to do the Brits a favour? It's for those who don't speak an official language - which, with the constant expansion of the EU - is an ever-greater fraction of the total. I think it was probably inevitable that this would happen.

    Dave Musker

  5. Did you notice that compensation is no longer limited to first sitters?

  6. On the other hand, there is much change that might still be effected through the agency of the new Implementing Regulations (IPREE). Note that Art 11(1)a allows the IPREE to define University-level, and Art 11(3) allows further provisions to be placed on candidates.

    Additionally, any new IPREE might contain a requirement for the pre-Examination specified in Art 1(7).

  7. The forms and announcement for the EQE next year are also available now: http://www.epo.org/patents/learning/qualifying-examination/enrolment/2010.html
    The basic fee is 120 Euro.

  8. Compensable fails should be done away with. You either pass the exam or your fail it.

  9. So on the downside it looks like it's going to be much more costly to Appeal (are they trying to put people off because of the number of Paper-C appeals from 2007?) but on the upside if you've already passed 3 EQEs with an aggregate of 155 or more, you can pass your remaining exam with 45 next year to qualify - is that right?

  10. Is it my imagination or did you not used to be able to sit the EQEs with a maths degree, but now you can (Rule 13 of the implementing regulations)?

  11. Forget about the new EQE Rules!
    Register yourself on the San Marino lists for patent attorneys and become a grandfather! Most Italian candidates have already registered:


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