European qualifying examination results demonstrate the high quality of the UK’s patent attorneys

Published: 13 July, 2018

The latest European qualifying examination (EQE) results demonstrate that, year-on-year, the high standard of training in the United Kingdom is delivering world-leading European patent attorneys. 

The rigorous EQE consists of five papers and determines whether candidates have the knowledge and ability to represent clients before the European Patent Office (EPO).

The 2018 results continue a clear trend of UK candidates outperforming their counterparts in Germany and France by considerable margins across all EQE papers (see tables below).

The widest differences in this year’s results were for paper D which the EPO says aims to “assess candidates’ ability to answer legal questions and to draft legal assessments”. The pass rate for UK candidates (62%) was more than double that of German candidates (25%) and significantly higher than that of French candidates (35%).

CIPA President Stephen Jones said that the high quality of UK training, provided by CIPA members and supported by CIPA, was central to UK candidates consistently performing so well in the EQE.

He said: “The excellent performance of UK candidates in the EQE is a clear indication of the first class service that clients of the UK’s European Patent Attorneys can expect to receive.”

EQE results for candidates in the UK, Germany and France, since 2015:

2018 pass rates %

Country

A (Drafting)

B (Amendment)

C (Opposition)

D (Law)

UK

61

84

71

62

DE

50

73

44

25

FR

49

70

40

35

 

2017 pass rates %

Country

A

B

C

D

UK

77%

85%

70%

74%

DE

51%

71%

49%

32%

FR

56%

68%

59%

38%

 

2016 pass rates %

Country

A

A2

B

B2

C

D

UK

63%

75%

89%

86%

56%

76%

DE

53%

64%

63%

58%

41%

41%

FR

65%

60%

71%

63%

33%

52%

 

2015 pass rates %

Country

A

A2

B

B2 

C

D

UK

73%

65%

73%

88%

59%

80%

DE

62%

57%

66%

87%

37%

49%

FR

66%

55%

58%

90%

49%

67%