You can sit the online EQE at any suitable place, e.g. your home or workplace.
You should sit the examination in a quiet room where you will not be disturbed. The room should have internet access. Details of further requirements will be made available in due course.
It has not yet been decided if candidates will be allowed to print out the examination papers. This will depend on the functions of the digital solution selected. However, we are well aware that the availability or otherwise of a paper copy of the examination paper can have a considerable influence on candidates’ working methods for answering the examination papers.
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.
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:
Candidates must register via myEQE on the EQE web site.
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.
The European Qualifying Examination is held in examination centres at venues appointed by the EPO in Munich, The Hague and Berlin. At these centres, set standards such as room temperature between 19-21ºC, a reasonable table size, low noise level, good accessibility are adhered to. Other EQE venues (examination centres) are made available by the national central industrial property offices of member states to the European Patent Convention. It is recommended to these offices to follow the EPO standards. However, it is ultimately their decision at which centre the examination takes place.
Before choosing an examination centre, candidates are advised to read the comments made in the survey for the different centres concerned.
During the enrolment procedure for the EQE, candidates may always opt to sit the examination at one of the EPO centres, subject to availability. Whilst the EPO makes every effort to ensure that prescribed standard conditions are upheld, it cannot guarantee that this will be the case in other examination centres.
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, it is strictly prohibited to take electronic devices of any kind, be it mobile phones, cameras, digital watches or clocks into the examination hall (see Instructions to candidates concerning the conduct of the European qualifying examination, Supplementary publication 2 - Official Journal EPO 2017, p. 36 and f.). Non-compliance may lead to disqualification from the examination.
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.