Friday, 22 April 2016

Requirement to register start of professional activities

For sitting the main exam, it is required that a candidate:


(a) satisfies the Secretariat that at the date of the examination (or rather, 1 March) the candidate has:
      (i) completed a full-time training period of at least three years in one of the contracting states to the European Patent Convention (hereinafter "the EPC") under the supervision of one or more persons European patent attorneys (for exact formulation, see Art.11(2)(a)(i) REE), or
      (ii) worked full-time for a period of at least three years in the employment of a natural or legal person in an EPC contracting state and have represented their employer before the EPO in accordance with Article 133(3) EPC (Art.11(2)(a)(ii) REE)), or
(b) performed full-time the duties of an examiner at the EPO for at least four years (Art.11(2)(b) REE).
For the pre-exam,  these periods are reduced by one year. 
On 1 April 2016, a revised version of Rule 28 IPREE entered into force, which requires candidates intending to enrol for the European qualifying examination for the first time to register once they have commenced their professional activities or employment.
The registration has to be done within 2 month after having commenced professional activities or employment. However, a transitional provision applies that the registration can be performed at any time during a transitional period that runs at least until 1 April 2017. 
Candidates enrolling for the EQE for the first time in 2017 do not need prior registration
Candidates enrolling for the EQE for the first time in 2018 or later are advised to register before the end of the transitional period, as otherwise only 2 months of the training period before registration will be taken into account.
The full text of the decision is given below:
Decision of the Supervisory Board 

The Supervisory Board,

Having regard to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives (REE) which entered into force on 1 January 2009 (Supplementary publication 2, OJ EPO 2014), in particular Article 3, paragraph 7, thereof, has decided as follows:

Article 1
Rule 28 of the Implementing provision to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives shall be replaced by the following text:

(1) In accordance with Article 11(1) REE, candidates intending to enrol for the European qualifying examination for the first time shall register once they have commenced their professional activities or employment as defined in Article 11(2) REE.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 7 and subject to paragraph 4, the fee for registration for candidates already registered with the Institute as an “epi student” shall amount to 50% of the basic fee.

(3) For the purposes of Article 11(2) REE, only such periods of professional activity shall be taken into account as have been accumulated after registration pursuant to paragraph 1 above. The maximum period of previous professional activity as defined in Article 11(2) REE which can be taken into account is limited to two months on condition that such period occurred immediately before registration. 

(4) During a transitional period of at least one year from the entry into force of this rule, the registration can be requested at any time. Candidates may request any previous period of professional activity as defined in Article 11(2) REE to be taken into account without the limitation specified under paragraph 3. Registration is free of charge during the transitional period. The transitional period may be extended by decision of the Supervisory Board. For candidates enrolling for the 2017 European qualifying examination, no prior registration is necessary.

Article 2 
This decision shall enter into force on 1 April 2016.

Done at Munich, 23 March 2016
For the Supervisory Board
The Chairman
Chris Mercer

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Added 4 January 2017:

A further Notice was published in OJ 2016, A108: "Notice of the Examination Secretariat of the European qualifying examination - Registration pursuant to Rule 28 of the Implementing provisions to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination"

The Notice provides many details as the the registration requirements and procedure.

The Notice indicates that the transitional period has NOT been extended by the Supervisory Board, as the Notice says: "During the transitional period until 31 March 2017 candidates may request any previous period of professional activity as defined in Article 11(2) REE to be taken into account without any limitation as to time."


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