You can sit the online EQE at any suitable location, e.g. your home or workplace. However, no other person is allowed to be in the room with you. Further information will be made available in due course.
No, there will not be any examination centres.
All candidates will receive the examination papers in the three official languages of the EPO.
The aim is to enable candidates to start familiarising themselves with the software as of January next year.
Yes, you will need a stable internet connection for the duration of each paper. Further information will be made available in due course.
The examination system will make use of a locked browser. The operating system must be either Microsoft Windows 7 or MacOS/X10.10, or higher versions. You will need administrator rights on your computer to install, start and use the browser. Candidates will be allowed to test the browser well in advance of the examination. Further information will be made available in due course.
Yes, the examination papers will be available in PDF in a viewer.
Candidates will be allowed to print parts of the pre-examination and main examination papers before the start of the respective paper. When it comes to deciding which parts can be printed, consideration will be given to ensuring the confidentiality of the questions while enabling candidates to work comfortably and ergonomically.
Only one screen will be allowed. It should be big enough for you to work in the editor and read the examination paper. Not all parts of the examination paper can be printed, so those parts which cannot be printed will have to be read on the screen. Further information will be made available in due course.
The text editor is a simple tool for text entry with basic formatting functions (underlining, bold, italic, bullets and numbering).
Copy/paste will be possible in the editor, so you will be able to copy and paste parts of the text which you have written yourself in the text editor. Copy/paste will also be possible from any text part of the examination paper.
No, you will have to type your answers using the editor provided in the locked browser. It will not be possible to scan and upload your answers.
Yes, you will be allowed to make notes on paper, but they cannot form part of your answer.
No, you have to type your answer using the editor provided in the locked browser.
The time allowed for each paper will not be less than in the past. However, the exact start and end times as well as the break times have not yet been decided. Tests will be carried out to find the best option. Candidates will be informed in due course. Please note that the EQE 2021 will take place over five days (see Notice of 2 October 2020).
More information will be published on this website in due course.
Fees paid for the pre-examination 2020 (enrolment and examination fee) will be reimbursed to the account/credit card from which they were paid. The process for refunding candidates has started but may still require some time to complete.
Provided you continue your professional training, you do not have to sit the pre-examination 2021 and can enrol directly to the main examination 2021 via the enrolment portal myEQE.
Your right to be admitted to the main examination will only remain valid if you enrol for the EQE 2021. If you do not enrol, you will forgo this right and be required to sit the pre-examination at a later date.
Should you enrol to the main examination and then withdraw or fail the attempted papers, your right to enrol to a future main examination will remain valid.
If you withdraw by the 30 September 2020, all fees apart from the enrolment fee will be reimbursed. After the 30 September it will no longer be possible to claim any refund.
Candidates’ academic qualifications and professional activities are checked at the start of training and, where appropriate, recognised.
The Examination Secretariat will send all EQE-relevant information to registered candidates by email. In addition, they may benefit from training opportunities offered by epi and other providers.
Candidates who must register:
Candidates who do not need to register:
Yes. All candidates have to register (see “Who needs to register?”).
Patent examiners at the EPO must submit a certificate available on the EPO intranet.
EPO examiners cannot be epi student members.
Shortly after starting their training, candidates must register.
Only candidates duly registered will be able to enrol for the pre-examination.
Candidates who wish to enrol to the pre-examination 2021 must register by 15 January 2020.
A request for registration will not be deemed to have been filed until all relevant supporting documents have been received.
Candidates need to submit the following documents:
Yes, absolutely. Registration does not replace enrolment for the pre-examination. Candidates have to enrol separately both for the pre-examination and for the main examination.
Candidates will automatically be sent a confirmation of receipt.
Only complete registration requests are deemed to be filed and can be processed. The Examination Secretariat will contact candidates by email if documents are not complete.
On average, requests will take 4 weeks to process. During the enrolment phase for the pre-examination, registration may take longer.
A list of activities should be uploaded together with your enrolment documents. Please use our example.
The Secretariat may take activities in proceedings relating to national patent applications and national patents into account. However, the majority of a candidate's activities must pertain to European patents or patent applications.
Yes, amended Rule 28 entered into force on 13 February 2017. Candidates may request any previous period of professional activity as defined in Article 11(2) REE to be taken into account without limitation. Registration is free of charge until further decision of the Supervisory Board.
For candidates successfully enrolled for the European qualifying examination, registration is not necessary since their periods of professional activity are already known.
Address changes can be made by candidates themselves via myEQE.
For changes of the email address, please inform the Examination Secretariat in writing preferably by email to email@example.com indicating the EQEReg number.
In case of change of name or nationality a certified copy of the supporting document (e.g. marriage certificate or passport) is necessary.
In accordance with Rule 1(3) IPREE it is possible to have supporting evidence certified by a professional representative (Art. 134 EPC). This is usually the quickest and easiest way to have documents certified. The certification should be written on a copy of the document and must include:
Fees relating to the EQE may only be paid by credit card or bank transfer. It is not possible to pay the fees by debiting an EPO deposit account.
Candidates are strongly recommended to use a credit card as their method of payment as this will ensure swift payment. Payments by bank transfer are considered to have been made on the date on which the amount of the transfer is actually entered in the bank account held by the EPO (see Article 7 of the Rules relating to Fees).
Candidates are reminded that a bank transfer may take time and it is therefore not recommended as a payment method shortly before the relevant deadline. Late receipt of payment will lead to the application being rejected.
No, the Examination Secretariat only issues a confirmation of payment. This can only be issued to the candidate and not to any third parties.
Any examination fees paid will be refunded if you inform the Examination Secretariat of your withdrawal until the deadline for refunds as stipulated in the Announcement of the EQE. Fees for registration and enrolment, however, are non-refundable.
No, a reimbursement after this date is not possible under any circumstance.
No, you do not have to be a citizen of one of the contracting states to register for the EQE. However, in order to be included in the list of professional representatives, you must meet the conditions of Article 134 EPC.
You can download past papers as PDF documents from the website:
There is no limitation in time for valid results. It is not necessary to enrol every year to maintain the validity of these results.
The modular system ceased to exist when the new Regulation on the European qualifying examination came into force in 2009. Candidates are free to choose the paper(s) they wish to sit.