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Admittance and enrolment for the EQE

Candidates are admitted to the EQE if, on the date of the examination, they meet the following requirements:

Qualifications

Candidates have to possess a scientific or technical qualification - for example, in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, electronics, engineering, pharmacology or physics. For each contracting state, two lists (A and B) have been drawn up, indicating the educational institutions and qualifications which are recognised.

  • List A contains the educational institutions and diplomas recognised for the first level of qualification. For instance: a "master's degree", a "bachelor's degree with honours", a "maîtrise" or equivalent "diplôme de l'enseignement supérieur", a diploma of a "Hochschule" or equivalent diploma, or any other similar degree from a university, technical university, technical high school or similar establishment.
  • List B contains the educational institutions and diplomas recognised for the second level of qualification. For instance: a degree, certificate or diploma corresponding to a "bachelor's degree without honours", or a diploma or degree from a vocational college, "Fachhochschule", higher technical college or institute, school of engineering or any similar establishment.

Professional activity

Candidates must have trained under the supervision of a professional
representative or as an employee or an assistant of an employee dealing
with patent matters in an industrial company established in one of the
contracting states.

This training period must last three years for the candidates who fulfil the conditions of list A and six years for those whose qualifications appear on list B.

The mandatory practical training is very important, since a great deal of the knowledge required by a European patent attorney is gained during this period. During this period the candidates must take part in a wide range of activities pertaining to patent applications or patents.

Only periods of professional activity completed after the required qualifications were obtained are taken into account. The training period must be completed at the date of the examination.

EPO examiners may enrol for the EQE if they have performed the duties of examiner for at least four years.

Dates

The EQE is held once a year, usually in March. A notice indicating the examination dates and the closing date for enrolment is published in the preceding year in the Official Journal of the EPO.

Examination fee

The fee payable depends on the number of papers for which the candidate enrols and the number of times he has already taken the EQE. The basic fee is EUR 425 for the EQE 2007.

Papers for which candidates may enrol

  • all papers at the first sitting, or
  • papers A and B as the first module at the first sitting and papers C and D as the second module at a subsequent sitting within the next three examinations;
  • in the event of a resit, either all papers not passed or only some of them, at the choice of the candidate. A candidate who fails one or more papers may resit them as many times as necessary.