Friday, 30 June 2017

Results D 2017 are out!

The results are out and can be found here

Congratulations to all that passed!

The statistics for paper D (percentages of actual sitters):

D 2017
# sitters
no show
comp fail
pass + cf
comp fail
pass + cf

In 2016, pass/ comp/ pass+comp / fail for paper D was 44%/ 11%/ 55% / 45%.
In 2015, pass/ comp/ pass+comp / fail for paper D was 55% / 11%/ 66% / 34%, an all-time high.
In 2014, pass/ comp/ pass+comp / fail for paper D was 39% / 9%/ 47% / 53%. 

The Examiner's reports are not yet available (30 June, 11:49).

Update 6 July: the Examiners' Report is now also available (pdf) (in English only so far). If you wish to comment on the or your answers, please post your comments on our blogs for the specific part (DI or DII) if it relates to a specific exam question, or to this blog if it relates to the D paper as a whole.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

DII 2017: metal beams having projections formed by rolling processes - our answers

How difficult was this DII? Opinions differ whether this was quite a standard DII in style and difficulty level, or whether it was much more evolved than in 2014-2016...  Again several PCTs that become, or not, Art.54(3) against others. Also non-published applications, deemed to be withdrawn applications, one grant, and one R.71(3) for which the time limit was missed. Again an application from which you can still claim priority and a competitor in China where you do not have any applications yet, so a need to file a PCT claiming priority from an earlier application to get something against your Chinese competitor. One may have been tempted to do entitlement to the ST-EP2 part of CB-PCT, but as that part is novelty-destroyed by ST-EP2 (or rather, the new application claiming priority from that), there is no need and no use. And product-by-process claims as well as product-directly-obtained-from-the-process protection. Also a transfer of an application and a priority right, supplementing the transfer of a granted patent and the transfer of an opposition in DI. Further difficulties to handle: quite a lot of claims to deal with, and priority was not valid for all claims in each application;  inventions were longer phrases written as product by process, making it more difficult to compare; there was also disclosures & application for a process; a lot of the issues were not straightforward when you looked in detail - e.g. trade fair had demonstration + test results + video; a lot of possible options to consider before you get to end - not possible to clear all of them up with certainty.

D 2017: our answers to the DI-part

The DI part of this year's D had a variety of topics and was -in our view- one of the more difficult DI papers. Scoring about 20 to 25 marks within 2 hours seems however feasible for a well-prepared candidate. How many marks one can achieve does not only depend on the legal knowledge and familiarity with the material, but also depends strongly on the strategy chosen for the D paper as a whole, especially how much time a candidate allocated for DI, how many marks were targetted, and how the candidate planned to deal with and actually dealt with difficult questions (skip or struggle, impose time limit or continue until no more ideas, ...).

We want to emphasize that our answer is not a typical answer of a candidate sitting the exam. It is the combined or at least cross-checked answer of experienced tutors, that could literally (not) sleep overnight to reconsider the answers before posting them. But even experienced tutors are not flawless, so our answer may not be fully complete, or even wrong as to certain aspects. We welcome any comments!

The outline of our answers:

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

D 2017: first impressions?

To all who sat the D-paper today:

What are your first impressions to this year's D-paper? Any general or specific comments?

Were the topics well balanced in the DI-part?
Was the balance between EPC and PCT right for you? Substantive topics in DI?
Which of the the DI Questions did you consider particularly difficult, and which relatively 'easy'?
Did you skip any DI-questions? if so, why? Too difficult, or allocating the time for another question?

Were the legal issues in the DII-part well doable? Patentability? Difficult priority analysis? Business situation and relevance clear? Exploitation?
Did errors with one of the legal issues or one of the patentability issues in DII have a big knock-on effect on the rest of the paper in your view (the D papers of the last four years were very well designed in this respect!)?

How much time did you allocate for DI, how much for DII?
Which part did you do first, DI or DII?
How many marks do you expect to have scored in the DI-part, in the DII-part, and for the whole D?
What is your expectation of the pass rate and the average score?
How did this year's D-paper compare to the D2013, D2014, D2015 and D 2016 (assuming your practiced those) - DI and DII-wise?

How did you use the extra 30 minutes that were available? Did you work longer on the DI or on the DII? How many marks do you expect to have scored extra thanks to those 30 minutes?

The paper and our answers

Copies of the D-paper will be provided on this blog as soon as we have received copies of the papers, in all three languages here (English, French and German).

The core of our answers is given in two separate blog posts: one for the DI-questions and another post for the DII-part.

We look forward to your comments!

Comments are welcome in any official EPO language, not just English. So, comments in German and French are also very welcome!

Friday, 20 January 2017

Preparing for D 2017

The Guidelines for Examination are an important source of information for answering legal questions in the D-paper, as they document the EPO practice and application of EPC Articles, Rules, Decisions and Notices.

The Guidelines of 1 November 2016 are the relevant version for EQE 2017. It incorporates for example electronic notification (E-I, 2.4; OJ 2015, A17; OJ 2015, A36), and the amended PACE regime (E-VII, 4; OJ 2015, A93).

Note however that not all OJ publications from before 1 November are incorporated in the Guidelines of November 2016, even though the date given on the Guidelines cover page suggests they are. Thus, some parts do not correctly reflect the legal situation on 1 November (nor on 31 December). 

Not incorporated are for example:
Although it is unlikely that an EQE 2017 question could be designed for these recent changes, the changes may have an effect on the answer: application of the applicable legal provisions and notices may give another answer than the incorrect answer that would be derived from the Guidelines. We recommend to annotate your paper copy of the Guidelines with the correct information.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

D 2016 - distribution of the scores

This is a histogram showing the distribution of all the D scores of all candidates in 2016. This scoring 0 are people who regsitered, but did not show up.

The dips at 43-44 and 48-49 are due to candidates who originally scored in that range being re-evaluated to see if the Examination Committee unfairly penalized someone. Their papers were rescreened to see if they were "fit to practice", and if so, extra points were awarded where merited.

There were in total 958 candidates, scoring an average of 47 points. The scores ranged from 7 to 86.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

D 2016 - our answer to the DII part

Our answer to the DII-part of the D2016 is given below.
Our answer to the DI-part is available in a separate post"D 2016 - our answers to the DI-part".
First impressions to the paper are given in another thread "First impressions D2016?".
We will post copies of the paper as soon as we received a clean copy (English, French and German).
All blogs allow anyone to add comments and already have a lot of valuable, interesting and sometimes surprising discussions between many candidates who posted their comments as well as tutors resulted from those.

Any remarks, (different) opinions and questions about our answer are welcome! Please post your contribution as comments to this blog, so everybody can participate in and benefit from the discussion/ explanation.
Please do not post your comments anonymously - it is allowed, but it makes responding more difficult and rather clumsy ("Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms Anonymous of 27-02-2015 23:49"), whereas using your real name or alternatively a pseudonym (nick-name) is more personal, more interesting and makes a more attractive conversation.

Comments are welcome in any official EPO language, not just English. So, comments in German and French are also very welcome!

Be reminded that the task in DII is to advise the client how to build and use a patent portfolio to support his business and to advise the client how to deal with third party’s rights that may prevent him from doing his business. It is thus not sufficient to only use legal patent terms (prosecute, infringe, within scope): you need use real life words that a real life client can understand (you will have protection for R, so you can stop your competitor from making/selling/using/importing ... in FR; your competitor has protection for S, so you can be stopped from producing ... in CZ). In DII you have to -and can- fully concentrate on giving an adequate advice without being disturbed by looking up and citing legal basis.

Where we give legal basis, this is for information only or to briefly explain a legal concept - legal basis is not required in the DII-part for points, but you can use it to clearly explain your answer to the marker. For example, it is a lot easier to label something an Art.54(3) application than to explain it.

Click "Read more" to read our answer,

Roel, Pete, Jelle