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.

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 8 - Wednesday 10 October 2018, followed by online coaching until the EQE in March 2019 
Tutors: Cees Mulder and Nyske Blokhuis
Online learning: from October 2018 to March 2019, 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 Cees Mulder and Nyske Blokhuis. The book provides a methodology for EQE Paper D. The book will be handed out to the participants. The book has been issued by Helze Publisher.

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 22 - Wednesday 24 October 2018, followed by online coaching until the EQE in 2019 
Tutors: Nyske Blokhuis and Cees Mulder
Online learning: from October 2018 to March 2019, 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 and Cees Mulder. The book provides a new, simple and efficient methodology for EQE Paper C. The book will be handed out to the participants. The book has been issued by Helze Publisher.

Follow-up meeting

On 23 January 2019, there will be an opportunity for participants in the trainings for Paper C and D to attend a final face-to-face question and answer session with the trainers. In preparation, you can hand in an answer to an exam paper, and the trainer will provide you with detailed comments (a small additional charge may apply).

EQE Pre-Exam Training

More information:

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 19 - Wednesday 21 November 2018, followed by online coaching until the EQE in 2019 
Tutors: Peter Pollard and Isabelle Surdej
Online learning: from October 2018 to March 2019, you will receive several assignments; one of the assignments will be marked by the tutor.

Expert trainers

The EQE training will be given by Cees Mulder, Nyske Blokhuis and Isabelle Surdej, who are European patent attorneys and renowned tutors preparing candidates for the EQE. 

Cees Mulder studied Physics and Chemistry at Utrecht University. In 1982, he joined Philips Electronics, first as a researcher and subsequently as a Dutch and European patent attorney. From 2001-2009, he was one of the founding partners of DeltaPatents. In 2009, he became a Lecturer Industrial Property Law at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University. In 2017, Cees was appointed professor of European Patent Law in a Global Context. He is vice-director of the post-doc curriculum 'Advanced Masters in Intellectual Property Law and Knowledge Management (LL.M/MSc)' at Maastricht University.

 More on Cees Mulder 

Nyske Blokhuis studied mechanical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (NL) and has been a patent attorney with EP&C since 2001. Before becoming a patent attorney, she worked as an engineer and as a failure analysis specialist.

 More on Nyske Blokhuis 

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 the European Extremely Large Telescope project. Now, she works as a European Patent Attorney at IPLodge (Leuven, BE).

 More on Isabelle Surdej

Pete Pollard is a patent attorney, specialising in protecting Software, Electronic and Physics inventions. He spent 10 years at DeltaPatents, dividing his time between patent work, management and training in European and PCT law. He was the main Paper D tutor, and edited their Legal Question and Answer books for several years. He was one of the original tutors when DeltaPatents started training patent administrators, and one of the first to teach at the European Patent Office as part of their EPAC program. In 2017, he left to start his own firm, Fireball Patents, providing cost-effective patent services to startups. He also gives training in IP and patent formalities

 More on Pete Pollard


Register for the exam training

You can register for the EQE exam training by filling in our online registration form. 

 EQE exam training 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.

Course fees

The costs of the training for Papers A/B, for Paper C as well as for Paper D is €1,425 each. This includes tuition, course materials, coffee/tea, lunches and access to the e-learning environment.

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 

Success rate

A significant majority of the candidates who participated in our EQE exam training for one or both papers in 2015, 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. 
Natasja Duhayon 

 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)! 
Jan Nouwens
 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. 
Tom Tassignon