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Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office

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Communiqué of epi about the 2021 e-EQE

March 15, 2021

Nearly 4,000 candidates sat the first ever e-EQE a few days ago. When the EQE Supervisory Board decided in early March 2020 to cancel the EQE (including the pre-EQE), many wondered whether the EQE could take place in 2021. As early as 13th March 2020 epi encouraged the Supervisory Board and all bodies involved to explore all necessary measures to carry out an EQE as soon as possible. On 23rd July 2020 the Supervisory Board decided that the EQE would be conducted online in 2021.

epi is grateful to the Supervisory Board for having taken these decisions and supports them. The health crisis, which all European countries had to face in 2020 and again this year, left little room for a format other than a virtual one. epi is also very grateful for the tremendous efforts of all those who made it possible to hold a complex examination such as the EQE, for so many candidates, in a secure environment.

The EQE is the cornerstone of the European Patent Attorney profession, and epi is committed to its success. epi is pleased to note that so many candidates are attracted year after year to a profession which supports innovation in Europe. epi is aware of the time and effort invested by candidates to prepare for this year’s examination and would like to warmly thank them for their adaptability. Although the 2021 e-EQE met the requirements set forth by the Supervisory Board for an online examination and was an incredible technical achievement, epi is also aware of the difficulties encountered by many when sitting the papers online and recognises that there is room for improvement over the coming years. epi is keen to continue working with the EPO to develop the e-EQE into a 21st century examination making full use of digital opportunities.

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