In December 2022, the EPO introduced a new examination intended for paralegals, patent administrators and formalities officers. Leading to the European patent administration certification (EPAC), this examination focuses on procedural aspects under the EPC, the PCT and the Paris Convention as well as national laws and other agreements, in so far as they apply to European patents and patent applications, including the London agreement. The examination shall allow candidates to demonstrate by an official validation their professional knowledge and skills.
The second edition of this examination will take place on October 12th, 2023 (online). Candidates may have with them any books and documents they consider useful for answering the examination papers. They must answer any questions on the various patenting routes and application procedures and the procedural, administrative and formalities-related tasks involved.
The examination will include two parts. One first part consists of 15 multiple choice questions (4 answers per question ; one hour) and the second part consists of six open questions (2 hours). The multiple choice questions will account for a third of the total points available. If the first part has not been passed (less than 8 correct answers), the examination will be considered failed and the other part will not be marked. The examination is passed when a candidate reaches at least 60 % of the total marks available. Candidates will not be asked to specify legal basis in their answers.
The online EPAC exam will be using the WiseFlow platform as does the e-EQE. It is an open book exam, wherein it is expected (highly likely, but to be confirmed) that the candidates will have access to the EPO website and therefore to the EPAC training material (epo.org).
Candidates can enrol for the examination from 18 April – 14 August 2023.
Prior to the examination, the EPO is organizing a mock exam whose date has not yet been announced. The answers to this mock exam will be published on the EPO homepage.
Detailed information about the new examination is available on the EPO homepage.
CEIPI will offer, from early July to late September 2023, a training preparing candidates for the EPAC. Building on our expertise in organizing, during several years, professional training for EPO formalities taking a similar examination, the new CEIPI course will cover the EPAC syllabus and help candidates to prepare themselves successfully for this examination.
Statistics on the first EPAC examination in 2022 show that the pass rate of candidates having attended the CEIPI preparation course is substantially higher than the average pass rate of the examination.
The CEIPI EPAC course will be organized online in English, German and French language and last four days. It will be offered in the following format:
- six half-day morning sessions on 03 July, 05 July, 10 July, 12 July, 23 August and 25 August 2023, completed by a full-day Q&A session on 29 September 2023, wherein also the EPO mock exam will be discussed.
N.B. : Should the EPO mock exam take place in October, the CEIPI reserves the possiblity of postponing this last session to a date in October prior to the real EPAC exam, in order to make the training as efficient as possible for the participants.
Content and structure of the CEIPI course:
The EPAC course is offered on the basis of 6 half-day substantive teaching sessions, consisting of general presentations and exercises covering the following topics:
The first half-day session will cover the background of the patent system, the aim of patents, the criteria for patentability, patenting systems and the hierarchy therein, the priority concept, the PCT system and the International Bureau, the EPC system and the EPO.
The second half-day session will focus on filing a PCT application and filing a (direct) European application including the requirements of obtaining a filing date and the formal requirements.
The third half-day session will deal with the search and publication and filing divisional applications.
The fourth half-day session will deal with entry in the national and regional phase after PCT and, especially the entry into the European phase.
The fifth half-day session will deal with international preliminary examination and examination in the EPO.
The sixth half-day session will deal with post-grant procedures (oppositions, limitations and revocations), national validation and appeal procedures.
The above sessions are completed by a one-day Question and Answer session, wherein the EPO mock exam is also discussed in detail.
This CEIPI training specifically preparing for the EPAC/CEAB is in line with the Certificate of Patent Assistant (CAB) delivered by INPI, and is therefore particularly aimed at holders of the INPI's CAB.
Download the programme of the training
The EPAC course is taught by experienced CEIPI tutors, all of them being European patent attorneys and working in private practice.
Harrie (born 1963) graduated in chemistry at Nijmegen University in 1988. Harrie was registered as Dutch patent attorney in 1992 and as European patent attorney in 1994. In 1998 he became a partner in the firm V.O. Patents and Trademarks. Since July 1, 2018 he is “of counsel” for V.O. Harrie has gained particularly expert knowledge in the formal aspects of the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the European Patent Convention, and has considerable experience in dealing with oppositions before the European Patent Office.
For long years, Harrie is a CEIPI tutor for Papers A and B of the EQE and for the Pre-Exam. Additionally, he is a tutor in the CEIPI basic course, assisting, a.o., EPO Examiners (Rijswijk) in the preparation for the European Qualification Examination, and he is responsible for the practical exams chemistry in the national Dutch Qualification Examination.
Harrie is author of the A- and B-book.
Thomas L. Lederer
Thomas is a German and European Patent Attorney at the Munich office of ABP Burger Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.
He studied at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and the Technische Universität Berlin, and is one of the very few German Patent Attorneys with a degree in Computer Science (Diplom-Informatiker Univ., LMU Munich).
Being a computer scientist, he is specialized in patents for artificial intelligence and computer-implemented inventions.
In IP since 2007, he worked as inhouse counsel and in law firms. In addition to serving as CEIPI tutor for the EQE and EPAC courses, he is also one of the co-authors of the KLEY EPÜ 2000 compendium.
Matthieu graduated as an engineer in applied mathematics at the Ecole des Mines de Paris (France) in 2009. After 13 years as a patent attorney in Regimbeau in Paris then Lyon, where he gained experience in prosecution and litigation cases, especially in the field of information technology, he joined Germain Maureau in 2022 and he is now specialized in AI-related inventions. He qualified as a French Patent Attorney in 2012 and as a European Patent Attorney in 2013 after passing the first pre-examination. He completed a Master in Intellectual Property Law in 2017.
Enrolment fees: 1500 €
Deadline for registration: Friday 16 June 2023