EQE exam training
Maastricht University offers training for candidates preparing for the European Qualifying Examination. The training is for candidates who already have a basic understanding of European patent law, and focuses on preparations for Paper C and Paper D of the exam.
The training for each of the papers starts with three days of workshops (A and B combined), given in Maastricht. You’ll learn a methodology for tackling each of the exam papers and you’ll receive coaching from the trainers in the subject matter. After the course, you’ll have access to Maastricht University’s electronic learning environment, which will provide you with online support from fellow students and the trainers as well as additional exercises so you can practise your drafting skills.
All course materials and teaching will be in English.
- trains you for EQE Papers A/B, for Paper C and/or for Paper D
- each course involves 3 days of workshops
- online assignments till the EQE
- taught and all study material in English
- dual teaching and small groups (max 16 participants)
EQE Paper D
In Part I of EQE Paper D, you are required to answer a set of legal questions.
In Part II of EQE Paper D, you’ll have to draft a legal opinion following an inquiry from a client.
Workshop duration: 3 days
Dates: Monday 9 - Wednesday 11 October 2023-followed by online coaching until the EQE in 2024
Tutors: Jeroen Declerck en Natasja Duhayon
Online learning: from October 2023 to March 2024, you will receive 8 assignments (6 with a set of Part I questions and two Part II papers); one of the Part I assignments will be marked by the tutor
During the course use will be made of the book “Tactics for D” written by Nyske Blokhuis. The book provides a methodology for EQE Paper D. The book can be found here.
Two follow-up meetings via Zoom will be planned during the online learning period. Optionally, you can hand in a C paper for correction (an additional charge of EUR 175.- applies).
EQE Paper C
In Paper C of the EQE, you are required to draft a notice of opposition against granted European patent.
Workshop duration: 3-days
Dates: Monday 23 - Wednesday 25 October 2023, followed by online coaching until the EQE in 2024
Tutors: Natasja Duhayon and Sjors de Koning
Online learning: from October 2023 to March 2024, you will receive 8 assignments (5 C cases and two full C Papers); one of the cases will be marked by the tutor
During the course use will be made of the book “Smart in C” written by Nyske Blokhuis. The book provides a new, simple and efficient methodology for EQE Paper C. The book can be found here.
Two follow-up meetings via Zoom will be planned during the online learning period (an additional charge applies).
EQE Pre-Exam Training
More information: www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/eqe-pre-exam-training
EQE Paper A and B
In Paper A of the EQE, you are required to draft a set of claims and the introductory portion of a European patent application.
In Paper B of the EQE, you are required to prepare a reply to a communication from the examining division in which prior art has been cited, while taking account of the letter from the client.
Workshop duration: 3-days
Dates: Monday 13 - Wednesday 15 November 2023, followed by online coaching until the EQE in 2024
Tutors: Isabelle Surdej and Sjors de Koning
Online learning: from October 2023 to March 2024, you will receive several assignments; one of the assignments will be marked by the tutor.
Two follow-up meetings via Zoom will be planned during the online learning period. Optionally, you can hand in a D – Part 2 paper for correction (an additional charge of EUR 175.- applies).
The EQE training will be given by Sjors de Koning, Natasja Duhayon, Jeroen Declerck and Isabelle Surdej, who are European patent attorneys and renowned tutors preparing candidates for the EQE.
Sjors de Koning holds master degrees in Mechanical Engineering from KU Leuven and Intellectual Property Law & Knowledge Management, MSc track from Maastricht University. Sjors has passed the EQE in 2019 after attending the EQE training courses in Maastricht. Since 2021, he is active as European & Belgian Patent Attorney at Calysta.
Isabelle Surdej holds a PhD in Physics from Ludwig Maximilians University (Munich) and a Master in Engineering Physics from the University of Liège. She has worked as an optical engineer at the European Southern Observatory (Munich) on projects such as the European Extremely Large Telescope. In April 2021, Isabelle has founded PRISMA Patents, an IP firm based in Leuven. Isabelle passed the EQE in 2017 after attending the EQE training courses in Maastricht.
More on Isabelle Surdej
Natasja Duhayon holds a PhD in physics from the University of Leuven (BE) and has been working at imec since 1999. In 2006, she joined the Patent Group of imec where she currently is leading the patent team which is responsible for the patent portfolio of imec's semiconductor technology and systems unit. Natasja passed the EQE in 2015 after attending the EQE training courses in Maastricht. Since 2019, Natasja has been lecturing in the Advanced Masters Intellectual Property Law and Knowledge Management (IPKM) given at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University.
Jeroen Declerck studied micro-electronics at Leuven University (BE). He is a European patent attorney with experience in software, micro-electronics, telecommunication and electro-mechanics. Jeroen is a director of IP HILLS. He is a lecturer in the Advanced Masters in Intellectual Property Law and Knowledge Management (IPKM) at Maastricht University.
Register for the exam training
You can register for the EQE exam training by filling in our online registration form.
Cancellations can be made until 14 days before the commencement of the course. You will receive a full refund of the fee minus an administrative charge of €150. After this date, no refunds can be made.
The costs of the training for Papers A/B, for Paper C as well as for Paper D is €1,900.- each. This includes tuition, course materials, coffee/tea, lunches, access to the e-learning environment and 2 Q&A sessions via Zoom.
Requirements of the European Qualifying Examination
To qualify as a European patent attorney, you need to pass the European Qualifying Examination (EQE), which is administered by the European Patent Office (EPO). The EQE takes place once a year in the last week of February. The pass rate is less than 50%. The EQE consists of a pre-exam and a main exam.
After completing three years working in the European patent profession, under the supervision of a European patent attorney, and upon passing the pre-exam, the main exam may be taken. The main exam consists of four written Papers divided over three consecutive days. The Papers of the Main Exam may be taken all at once or divided over multiple sittings (different years). Only candidates with a suitable qualification such as a university degree in science or technology may enrol for the EQE.
The main exam includes three practical papers and one legal paper:
- Paper A: drafting of a European patent application
- Paper B: amendment of a European patent application
- Paper C: filing a notice of opposition against granted European patent
- Paper D: part DI involves answering a set of legal questions, and part DII involves drafting a legal opinion following an inquiry from a client
A significant majority of the candidates who participated in our EQE exam training for one or both papers in earlier years, passed the respective paper(s).
I followed this training for my first sit of the EQE and passed on the first try! I’m thankful to Cees and Nyske not only for teaching me how to tackle Papers C and D, but also for their warmth, patience and mental support during my preparation. The study environment in Maastricht and on the online forum gave me the feeling of having them by my side all the way. I highly recommend their EQE training to anyone who is seeking a personal and professional approach.
Statistics show that the EQE Paper C is the toughest paper to pass. It requires an in-depth knowledge of substantive patent law as well as time effectiveness in collecting all relevant information to enable you to produce novel arguments and inventive step attacks in sufficient detail. For me, an accurate and time effective methodology was crucial for passing this exam. Maastricht University’s EQE Paper C training covered all these aspects and helped me to pass Paper C (and therewith the EQE)!
The EQE training courses at Maastricht University taught me how to tackle a Papers C and D step by step. The methodologies and exercises provided were essential in passing these papers. Additional exercises were provided after the training, and detailed solutions were given, which helped me to apply the methodologies I learned, pinpoint my weak points and overcome them. Passing the EQE wouldn't have been possible without the expertise and guidance of Cees Mulder and Nyske Blokhuis. Their continuous and personal support from the start of the course until the final days before the EQE were invaluable.