European qualifiying examination

Examination Secretariat

Telephone enquiries:
(+49 89) 2399 5155

(+49-89) 2399 5140

Opening times:
Mon, Wed-Fri 09.00-11.00 hrs
Tue 14.00-15:30 hrs

Postal address:
European Patent Office
European Qualifiying Examination
Examination Secretariat
80298 Munich




Updated 12/2020 - How will paper C be structured and what do I have to take into account when answering it?

The EQE 2021's paper C will be split into two parts.

In the first part of the paper, you will be provided with a letter from a client, prior-art documents, a description of the patent to be opposed and a number of its claims. Within the allotted time, you will be required to draft as much of a notice of opposition as it is possible based on the documents at hand. This first part of the notice of opposition must be handed in at the end of the first part of the exam.

In the second part, you will be provided with one or more additional claims of the same patent. You may also receive further information such as another letter from the client, further prior art and/or supplementary parts of the patent's description. You will be required to draft a second part of the notice of opposition, which will form, together with the first part you already provided, the complete notice of opposition which will be marked. This second part of the notice of opposition must be handed in at the end of the second part of the exam.

If an attack which is available in the first part of the paper is discussed only during the second part of the exam, no marks will be awarded to that attack.

Updated 12/2020 - What examination platform will be used for the e-EQE?

For the e-EQE, the examination platform WISEFlow ( with a LockDown browser will be used.

Updated 12/2020 - Will there be proctoring during the examination?

Yes, there will be proctoring based on image and audio recording, monitoring candidates using artificial intelligence, complemented by human invigilation.

Updated 12/2020 - Will I be able to test the system?

Yes, it is planned to offer two mock examinations, the first one from 22 December 2020 until 28 February 2021. You have been informed by email that the examination platform is available. The first mock examination (Mock 1) is intended for candidates to test their equipment and get acquainted with the examination environment. It will be open for a longer period, so that all candidates can use it without time pressure. There will be no proctoring during this first mock examination. It is planned to have a second mock examination (Mock 2) under simulated examination conditions from 1 to 5 February 2021. More information will follow regarding the second mock examination.

Updated 12/2020 - What are the system requirements?

Any of the following browsers can be used: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera. However, Firefox or Chrome are recommended for better interface experience and faster response.

Candidates should make sure that their email client and server are properly configured to receive messages from

Besides the prerequisites of a standard computer system the following hardware is required: webcam, microphone and speakers.

In particular, the system requirements for the LockDown browser are:

i) Operating Systems: Windows: 10, 8, 7; Mac: OS/X 11.0.1 (Big Sur), 10.10 (Yosemite) or a more recent version;

ii) Memory: 75 MB permanent space on the hard drive for Windows; 120 MB permanent space on the hard drive for Mac;

iii) A stable broadband internet connection.

The LockDown browser is a client application that is installed locally on the computer. To install and launch the LockDown browser, candidates will need system administrator rights on the computer.

Updated 12/2020 - What screen size is recommended?

The screen should not be too small. In the mock exams, candidates should test which screen size best suits them. However, only one screen is allowed by the LockDown browser. Candidates using an external monitor attached to a laptop should make sure, that the built-in laptop screen is switched off, or is disabled. In the case of a built-in laptop camera, they should also pay attention to the correct camera configuration, as the active camera should also be placed close to the external monitor. More information on the technical configuration will follow later as well as dedicated FAQ on the camera.

Where can I sit the online EQE and is anyone else allowed to be in the room with me?

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.

Can I sit the EQE in an examination centre?

No, there will not be any examination centres.

Will the papers be made available in the three official languages of the EPO?

All candidates will receive the examination papers in the three official languages of the EPO.

Will I need an internet connection?

Yes, you will need a stable internet connection for the duration of each paper. Further information will be made available in due course.

Will the examination papers be provided in digital format?

Yes, the examination papers will be available in PDF in a viewer.

Will it be possible to print the examination papers?

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.

What text editor will be used?

The text editor is a simple tool for text entry with basic formatting functions (underlining, bold, italic, bullets and numbering).

Will copy/paste be possible?

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.

Will I be allowed to write my answer on paper and scan and upload it afterwards?

No, you will have to type your answers using the editor provided in the LockDown browser. It will not be possible to scan and upload your answers.

Will I be allowed to make notes on paper?

Yes, you will be allowed to make notes on paper, but they cannot form part of your answer.

Will I be allowed to switch to writing on paper if I don't feel comfortable with the PC?

No, you have to type your answer using the editor provided in the LockDown browser.

Updated 12/2020 - How much time will be allowed for each paper?

The time allowed for each paper has been decided. Please see the Information on the schedule for the EQE 2021 examination papers.

When will more information on the e-EQE be available?

More information will be published on this website in due course.

Registration (Rule 28 IPREE)

What is changing, and how do I benefit from registration?

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.

Who needs to register?

Candidates who must register:

  • Candidates intending to enrol for the European qualifying examination (EQE) for the first time
  • Candidates, who have applied for the pre- or main examination of the EQE, but were not admitted

Candidates who do not need to register:

  • Candidates, who have already been admitted to the EQE (pre- or main examination)

I am an EPO examiner – do I have 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.

When do I have to register?

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.

When is my registration deemed to be received?

A request for registration will not be deemed to have been filed until all relevant supporting documents have been received.

Which supporting evidence must be provided?

Candidates need to submit the following documents:

  • certified copy of valid ID or passport
  • certified copies of academic qualifications (diploma certificate(s) and transcript of records)
  • certificate of training signed by the trainer and candidate
  • the signed registration summary available at the end of the registration process
  • where applicable, proof of epi student membership
  • any other relevant documentation e.g. concerning remission of the training period

How can I register?

Candidates must register via myEQE on the EQE web site.

I am registered. Do I have to enrol for the pre-examination and main examination?

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.

The specific deadlines for enrolment are published on the EQE website and in the Announcement of the EQE.

How do I know that my registration is being processed?

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.

How long will processing of my registration request take?

On average, requests will take 4 weeks to process. During the enrolment phase for the pre-examination, registration may take longer.

How do I prove activity according to Article 11(2)(a)ii) REE and to what extent can national patent applications be taken into account?

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.

Is Rule 28 of the implementing provisions to the Regulation on the EQE (REE) already in force?

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.

General information

I have recently changed my address/name/nationality. Do I need to inform the secretariat?

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 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.

Can the required supporting evidence be certified by a professional representative, and if so, what form should the certification take?

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:

  • a statement that the certified copy corresponds with the original
  • the date and place of certification
  • the signature of the professional representative and his/her name in block capitals

How can I pay EQE-related fees?

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.

Can I receive an invoice for the fees paid in relation to the EQE?

No, the Examination Secretariat only issues a confirmation of payment. This can only be issued to the candidate and not to any third parties.

What is the latest date that I can withdraw from the EQE and still claim a refund?

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.

If I withdraw after the deadline, can I get a refund if I file a medical certificate?

No, a reimbursement after this date is not possible under any circumstance.

Do I have to be a national of one of the contracting states to register for the EQE?

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.

Where can I get a copy of the compendium of past EQE papers?

You can download past papers as PDF documents from the website:

How long are my old results valid and is the modular system still relevant?

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.

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