Taking the EQE C exam for the last time?

In Insights, Uncategorized

24 January, 2014

Four years ago, 2010, in the beginning of March, I sat the European Qualifying Examination, to become an authorized European Patent Attorney, for the first and (as I thought then) only time. I had studied hard enough, and also had the good fortune of staying clear of the infamous “Swine flu”, and passed all four parts of the exam (A, B, C, D) in one go. 

There was one part of the exam which I actually thought was fun to study for, and fun to take during those four days in Stockholm and that was the C exam. The C exam for those of you who are not familiar with the EQE is the part where the European Patent Office (EPO) wants to test you to see if you know your way around drafting an opposition. The exam takes place on the last of three exam days in a row, lasts for six (for most people grueling) hours of reading, thinking and writing. The pass rate for this exam is usually well below 50% or even below 40%. It is, in short, a really difficult exam. But as I said, I enjoyed this exam almost as much as I enjoy solving difficult math equations or a puzzle.

So last year when the Examination Committees asked potential new members to apply for marking the 2014 exam, and drafting and testing new exams, I applied. In December the decision of the President of the EPO was announced and I am now a member of the Committee that drafts and marks the C exam. The members are expected to put down about 120 h on this task, marking the exams and joining meetings in Münich together with other markers. I still don’t know the number of exams that I will be expected to mark, but I do know none of them will come from any of my Swedish colleagues taking the exam this year, as the nationality of the marker can never be the same as a candidate taking the exam.

Also, as a benchmarking exercise I have been asked to sit the 2014 C exam in Stockholm. Therefore as it turned out, I was wrong, I had not taken the exam for the last time. And for all those of you who think this is a bit crazy – you are probably correct. I would also like to wish those of you taking the exam this year, the best of luck!

Sofia Willquist, European Patent Attorney

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