23 March 2022
The European qualifying examination (EQE) 2022 concluded last week, after a 11-day examination cycle that ran from Tuesday, 8 March to Friday, 18 March. Successful EQE candidates can request to be entered on the list of professional representatives and can then represent clients before the European Patent Office. The EQE is regarded as a stamp of quality for both the European patent system and the patent attorney profession.
Organising one of the most demanding and prestigious professional examinations in the world has been possible despite the pandemic thanks to a new, digital EQE. Since 2021, candidates have been able to take the exam from a computer in a location of their choice and using electronic documents.
In 2022, 2 800 candidates enrolled to one or more of the five EQE exam papers, all of which together took 24 hours. A total of 130 exam pages were made available in the three official languages of the EPO, and there were three layers of invigilation. The 60 invigilation team members, many of whom were epi volunteers, provided technical assistance and advice before, during and after the examination. Candidates who contacted the support team will have their cases followed up.
Candidates in 2022 benefited from new improvements such as the ability to annotate papers on screen, an integrated chat support function, and extended scheduling of papers (as requested by candidates of the 2021 EQE). The introduction in 2021 and 2022 of mock exams prepared by a team of epi volunteers, individual support and structured guidance has also helped candidates in preparation for taking the exam.