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Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office

epi supports e-EQE in 2021

On 23rd July 2020, the Supervisory Board of the EQE announced on the EPO-EQE website (https://www.epo.org/learning/eqe.html) that, in March 2021, the Pre-Exam and the Main Exam will be conducted online.

An e-EQE Working Group composed of EPO and epi representatives is actively working out the necessary arrangements.

Several technologies are being investigated for digital examinations with proctoring. Once the choice for an online examination tool has been made, it will be made available to the candidates for testing.

The requirements for the EQE as well as the structure and content of the various examination papers will be in line with previous examinations as outlined in the REE and IPREE and decisions of the Supervisory Board.

epi fully supports the digitalisation of the EQE because it has to be ensured that the 2021 EQE can take place. Establishment of an e-EQE ensures that the examination can take place in an orderly manner, guaranteeing fair conditions for all candidates under any circumstances, including travel restrictions, lockdown situations, the impossibility to bring large groups of candidates together in examination halls, etc.

epi is actively participating in the project to provide an e-EQE in 2021. To support the e-EQE Working Group, epi has set up a Digitalisation Support Group comprising members with different experiences. Later on, the Support Group will also participate in the testing of the chosen online examination tool.

The Working Group has direct contacts with the UK Patent Examination Board which is transforming the UK national examination into a digital one to be held in October 2020. There is a lot to learn from how this digital examination is designed and executed.

epi has emphasised the importance of regular communication by the Supervisory Board with the candidates to inform them about the progress of the digitalisation process.