Corporate computers and networks often have a strict security policy. In this respect, some candidates have experienced issues with the LockDown Browser (e.g. interruption of flow), with the use of camera and microphone or with the reliability of the network connection used by the LockDown Browser and IP address issues.
To mention some elements to be checked (list non-exhaustive): software rights management; screen or power savers; automatic system or software updates; hardware rights management for camera or microphone; virus scanners; change of IP addresses in corporate networks; firewalls security configurations.
If you experience issues during the mock examinations, which cannot be solved, it is strongly advised to either contact your IT department to solve the issues within your corporate IT Policy or most advisable is to use another (private) computer or network.
In the LockDown Browser, you will have access to the EPO legal texts as "external resources" (see mock exams).
You will be able to navigate the EPO legal texts webpage. No other legal texts will be made available online.
When consulting the legal texts, do not download the large pdf documents. Please navigate to the html version and the smaller pdfs only.
In this respect, please consult the Notice of the Examination Board.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
Yes, you will need a stable internet connection for the duration of each paper. Further information will be made available in due course.
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.The printable documents will be made available approximately 20 minutes before the start of the flow.
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.
Yes, you will be allowed to make notes on paper, but they cannot form part of your answer.
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.
Candidates’ academic qualifications and professional activities are checked at the start of training and, where appropriate, recognised.
Only candidates duly registered will be able to enrol for the pre-examination. Registration must have been completed at the latest by 15 January of the year in which you intend to enrol for the pre-examination.
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.
What kind of training is required?
The key criteria for the required training period are that the candidate trains in one of the contracting states to the European Patent Convention under the supervision of one or more persons entered on the list of professional representatives before the EPO (Article 134(1) EPC), as an assistant to that person or those persons, and that in the said period they take part in a wide range of activities pertaining to European patent applications or European patents (see Article 11(2)(a) REE). Whilst most candidates enter into a standard employment contract with the supervising professional representative or the company they work for, an employment contract is not required by the REE.
How does furlough affect a candidate's training situation?
Furlough can affect a candidate's training situation. If furlough interrupts the training period, this must be reported to the Examination Secretariat. If training and the required activities pertaining to it (see above) continue despite furlough, there is no need for any further action.
Who must report a change in the training situation?
The supervising professional representative and the candidate both have an obligation to report any change in the training situation as set out in Article 11(2)(a) REE. They have both agreed to this obligation by signing the training certificate. However, if the change has been reported by one of the two parties, there is no need for any further action by the other party. In case of doubt, both parties should report a change.
What are the possible consequences of an interruption of the training period?
If, due to an interruption of the training period (possibly as a result of furlough), the required overall training period is not completed, the condition for enrolment is not fulfilled and the candidate may not enrol for the examination.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.