Cees Mulder and Nyske Blokhuis, Tactics for D - A methodology for EQE paper D
Helze Publisher, Geldrop (NL) 2016, XI, 144 pages, € 60.-.
Being a European patent attorney is an attractive profession and the number of candidates for the European Qualifying Examination (EQE) is high. A guide for writing Paper D cannot provide the necessary legal information and experience for writing the paper. Rather, the intention of the authors is to teach how a candidate efficiently uses his knowledge, how to write the paper, how to approach the questions and how to meet the expectations of the markers to achieve success. They are well qualified for this task. Both are national and European patent attorneys and experienced tutors giving training courses at Maastricht University. Cees Mulder also is a well renowned speaker at seminars, inter alia organised by epi and the EPO.
The book comprises seven parts. Part A provides general information on Paper D inter alia comprising comments from the Examination Committee which are published by the EPO in the compendia on past papers. This information helps the candidates to avoid typical and systematic mistakes reported again and again. A further chapter lists useful training material for preparing for Paper D. Additional material of this type may be found in the EPO's study guide on the EQE (6th ed. 2016, pp. 39 ff).
Part B deals with Part I of Paper D - comprising five to seven questions relating to different areas of the Examination syllabus. The authors put an emphasis on a methodology of five logical steps how to apply an abstract legal provision on a factual situation given in the question. Two examples based on concrete Part I questions explain how to use the methodology in practice.
Part C is devoted to Part II of Paper D in which the candidate has to reply in the form of a legal opinion to an enquiry from a client. The reader is given examples of crucial issues recurring in previous papers and advice how to deal with such issues. Also in respect of possible actions and suggestions how to improve the client's situations practical examples are given.
Part D gives an overview of issues regularly coming up in Paper D. A larger part deals with formal and substantive questions of the right of priority. Part D also contains checklists for typical actions which may be appropriate suggestions in Part II of Paper D.
Part E is an analysis and solution of Part II of Paper D of 2013. The analysis uses the Stimulus-Word Technique which is intended to reveal the relevance of certain terms used in the client's enquiry for the candidate's answer. An illustrative example of a time line of the relevant events is shown which serves as a basis for determining the effective dates of the claimed-subject-matters. With the example of a marking sheet the reader learns which elements of the possible solution may earn which points or where he may lose points.
Part F gives tables for defined legal fields relevant for Paper D, listing the relevant Articles and Rules of the EPC together the with the citations of the Guidelines for Examination in the EPO and the decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal. A similar table shows corresponding Articles and Rules of the PCT and a further one cross-references between provisions in the EPC and the Paris Convention on the right of priority.
At the end of the book, Part G provides useful indexes, a first one based on legal provisions and a second one for decisions. The third index is a keyword index.
Tactics for D is the fruit of profound practical experience with Paper D. Long before his present activities at Maastricht University, Cees Mulder had been a tutor first at CEIPI and then as a co-founder of DeltaPatents. The book not only gives a complete picture of the requirements of Paper D, it is also full of simple practical tips, some of which may even appear self-explanatory at first glance. However, considering the mistakes actually made in the EQE and regularly reported by the Examining Committee for Paper D, such advice cannot be expressed clearly enough and repeated often enough.