Reforms to the

European Qualifying Exam

CIPA had input into the development of changes to the European Qualifying Examination (EQE) during 2023. The EQE is the qualifying assessment required to represent applicants in proceedings before the European Patent Office.

There was a consultation in the summer of 2022 on this new e:EQE and proposals were put forward which reflected feedback from CIPA and other stakeholders as well as further comments from epi Council, which has a strong contingent of CIPA Fellows.

In December 2023, the EPO’s Administrative Council unanimously approved amendments to the ‘Regulation of the European Qualifying Exams’.

The amendments’ main purpose was the launch of a new set of EQEs in 2025 as well as a planned transition with the EPO aiming to phase out the current EQEs by 2027.

In a nutshell, in place of the current set of exams comprising the pre-EQE, and then papers A, B, C, and D the new EQE format will gradually be introduced as follows:

  • A new Foundation paper in 2025,
  • New Main examination papers M1 and M2 in 2026, and
  • New main examination papers M3 and M4 in 2027.

A detailed overview of the reforms, written by Julia Gwilt, CIPA Fellow and Chair of the epi’s Professional Education Committee, was published in the November 2023 issue of the CIPA Journal.

Julia summarised the situation, saying: “There are lots of changes but there is also a lot which is familiar. The examination will continue to test whether a candidate is fit to practise before the EPO and, thus, we can continue with the familiar day-to-day training which teaches the core skills and knowledge. The specific exam training will need to be adapted and the course providers have been kept in the loop throughout the change process.”

As the year closed, we were planning to report further details of each of the M papers in the January-February 2024 issue of the CIPA Journal.

Shopping Basket

No products in the cart.

Skip to content