European qualifying examination
Announcement of the European qualifying examination 2002
1. Date of examination
The European qualifying examination will be held from 20 to 22 March 2002.
2. Period for submission of applications
Applications for enrolment may be submitted as of now to the Examination Secretariat (European Patent Office, Directorate 5.1.1, D-80298 Munich); they must be received by the European Patent Office not later than 9 November 2001. The European Patent Office stamp showing the date of receipt will constitute proof. Applications received after that date will be refused. Articles 121 and 122 EPC are not applicable.
Candidates are advised that they must use the form reproduced on p. 301, which may be copied from the Official Journal.
Where an application for enrolment is filed by facsimile, written confirmation reproducing the contents of the facsimile documents must be supplied within a non-extendable period of one month.
Applications (enrolment form and enclosures) should be submitted as early as possible to give the Examination Secretariat sufficient time to check whether the conditions for enrolment have been fulfilled.
3. Withdrawal of application or transfer to modular system
Candidates may withdraw their application and, as a result, not take part in the examination.
Candidates enrolled for the first time for all the papers may opt for the modular system at any time up to the start of the examination.
If the Examination Secretariat is informed at least four weeks before the start of the examination that a candidate is withdrawing or transferring to the modular system, the examination fee will be reimbursed after deduction of an amount equal to 25% of the basic fee. Candidates failing to observe this time limit may benefit from this provision only after the specific circumstances leading to their withdrawal have been examined.
Candidates who have already sat the examination at least once and wish to withdraw from some of the papers for which they have enrolled are requested to contact the Examination Secretariat, who will inform them whether, in the light of their particular circumstances, this can be allowed and under what conditions.
II. Instructions for completing the application form
(The numbering below corresponds to the relevant sections of the enrolment form)
1. First-time enrolment: full sitting or modular sitting
First-time candidates may sit the examination in two modules (Article 14(1) Regulation on the European qualifying examination (REE)). The first module consists of papers A and B, the second of papers C and D (Rule 2 of the Implementing provisions to the REE).
Candidates applying to sit the second module may choose only one of the following options:
- enrolment for the papers of the second module only, or
- enrolment for the papers of the second module plus re-enrolment for both papers of the first module. Any result previously obtained will then no longer be valid (Article 14 REE).
Candidates may not:
- enrol for the second module and at the same time re-enrol for only one of the papers of the first module, or
- re-enrol for the first module without at the same time enrolling for the second module.
Candidates sitting the examination in two modules shall sit the second module within the next three examinations subsequent to the first module.
Candidates may only resit those papers which they do not pass (Article 18 REE). They do not have to resit them all at once, even if they did not pass any of the four papers.
However, if a candidate last took the examination before 1993, he must resit the whole examination, unless he was already eligible in 1993 to resit it in part.
If the candidate last took the examination in 1993 or had the right to a partial resit in 1993, he may choose between resitting the whole examination or only those papers he did not pass.
A candidate re-enrolling for the whole examination for the first time after the entry into force of the Regulation on the European qualifying examination as amended on 9 December 1993 is deemed to be sitting it for the first time within the meaning of Article 17(1) REE.
The requirements as to qualifications remain unchanged (candidates are referred to the Instructions concerning the qualifications required for enrolment for the European qualifying examination, OJ EPO 1994, 599, amended by decisions of the Examination Board of 23 April 1996, OJ EPO 1996, 357, and of 23 September 1998, OJ EPO 1999, 92).
4. Periods of professional activity
4.1 Articles 10(2)(a) and 21(2)(b) REE:
(a) Activities pertaining to European and national patent applications or patents – Article 10(2)(a) and (4) REE
Candidates will not be required to have taken part in activities pertaining to "European" patent applications or patents. Participation in activities pertaining to "national" patent applications or patents will suffice.
With regard to sub-paragraphs (ii) and (iii), candidates will not be required to have acted "before the European Patent Office in accordance with Article 133, paragraph 3, of the European Patent Convention". It will suffice for them to have acted before the central industrial property office in accordance with a national provision or practice corresponding to Article 133(3) EPC.
(b) Professional representative – Article 10(2)(a)(i) REE
The person responsible for supervision must be entered on the list of professional representatives by the date on which the candidate submits his application for enrolment (Article 21 REE).
(c) Certificate of training or employment – Article 21(2)(b) REE
It is recommended that the form reproduced on p. 303 be used. It may be copied from the Official Journal.
(d) Nature and scope of duties performed by the candidate – Article 21(2)(b) REE
The certificate(s) must indicate the nature and scope of the duties performed by the candidate during the training period. It is in the interest of both the training supervisor and the candidate that from the outset of the three-year training period the candidate should take part in a wide range of relevant activities, ie have the opportunity to prepare first applications, replies to examiners' communications, and notices of opposition and appeal. A record should be kept of such activities so that on completion of the training period figures can be entered in the certificate.
4.2 Reduction of the period of professional activity - Article 11 REE
Under Article 10 of the Instructions concerning the qualifications required for enrolment for the European qualifying examination (OJ EPO 1994, 599, amended by decisions of the Examination Board of 23 April 1996, OJ EPO 1996, 357, and of 23 September 1998, OJ EPO 1999, 92), the Examination Secretariat will grant a reduction in the period of professional activity to candidates who have successfully completed the following courses of study or training in industrial property:
- the full eight months' training with the German authorities. Reduction granted: six months on presentation of the certificate for admission to the qualifying examination for German patent agents. No reduction granted if the eight months' training has not been completed;
- the "Zusatzstudium auf dem Gebiet des gewerblichen Rechtsschutzes" at Humboldt University in Berlin. Reduction granted: six months;
- the "Zusatzstudiengang Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen mit Schwerpunkt gewerblicher Rechtsschutz" at Ilmenau University. Reduction granted: six months;
- the "Diplôme d'études internationales de la propriété industrielle", obtained after completing the one-year period of study with CEIPI in Strasbourg. Reduction granted: six months. No reduction granted if the holder of the diploma followed the "crash" course ("cycle accéléré");
- the "Diplôme d'études supérieures spécialisées en droit de la propriété industrielle" (DESS). Reduction granted: six months;
- the "Master of Science in Management of Intellectual Property" at Queen Mary and Westfield College. Reduction granted: six months;
- the "Nachdiplomstudiengang Geistiges Eigentum" at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Reduction granted: six months.
4.3 EPO examiners
According to Article 10(2)(b) REE candidates who by the date of the examination have performed the duties of examiner at the EPO for at least four years full-time may enrol for the examination even if they have not yet completed a training period within the meaning of Article 10(2)(a) REE. Such candidates must submit a certificate issued by the Personnel Department of the EPO. They will not be declared to have passed the examination until they have fulfilled the requirements of Article 17(1) and (2) REE.
5. No instructions
The basic fee is EUR 409.
The equivalent of the basic fee subject to any revision under Article 6(4) of the Rules relating to Fees is as follows (Supplement to OJ EPO 2/2001, 10, No. 12.1):
The application for enrolment will be deemed to have been received on the date on which the payment of the fee is considered to have been made. If that date is later than 9 November 2001, the application will be refused. Articles 121 and 122 EPC are not applicable.
With regard to what constitutes the date to be considered as the date on which payment is made, see Article 8 of the Rules relating to Fees.
7. No instructions
8. No instructions
9. Examination centres
The European qualifying examination will be held at the European Patent Office in Munich, its branch at The Hague (Rijswijk) and its sub-office in Berlin.
It may also be held at the central industrial property offices of the contracting states to the European Patent Convention, or at locations appointed by the Heads of these offices, provided the following two conditions are fulfilled: at least ten candidates must be enrolled for a given centre and the Head of the central office concerned must be willing to hold the examination at this centre on the above-mentioned date. In case these conditions cannot be met, candidates electing to sit the examination at a non-EPO centre should indicate whether they would then wish to take it in Munich, The Hague or Berlin, or withdraw from the examination altogether. They are not permitted to indicate any alternative other than Munich, The Hague or Berlin.
Non-EPO examination centres where the examination has already been held: Berne, Munich (DPMA), Newport, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Taastrup.
10. Acknowledgment of receipt
The Examination Secretariat will acknowledge receipt of applications for enrolment on request to those candidates who submit EPO Form 1037 with their application. This form is available from the EPO Information Office (Tel. (+49-89) 2399-4512). The invitation to sit the examination will be sent to the candidates in February 2002.
For technical reasons, the forms embedded in this article are only available in the PDF version.