Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Examiner's Report

And finally, the Examiner's Report is published. Because I'm not longer in the luxurious position to have my answers corrected and marked by the Exam Committee, this is my first chance of checking how good (or bad) my own answers were.

First thing to look at (of course): Did I perform the correct attacks? To my relief, it turns out that I agree with the committee on most attacks. Only for claim 4 (plastics), I had chosen (and would probably still choose) something different.

The exam committee is of the opinion that merely stating that in a certain range an effect is attained to a (not further specified) greater extent than (at an unspecified distance) outside the range is sufficient for being novel, even if the prior art disclosing a broader range also tells you that the effect is attained to a greater extent. They might be correct, but I am very curious what a Board of Appeal would decide in such a situation. I would expect that more evidence, e.g. in the form of concrete values, would be needed for having a selection invention.

That this range was a difficult issue, was of course already known by the regular visitors of this website. The issue was already discussed extensively on this website in the weeks following the exam. Click here for the full discussion. Congratulations to the anonymous poster who bravely defended the exact opinion of the Exam Committee. I hope he or she passed this exam.

Second thing to look at: How did the candidates do? I was surprised by the lack of cynical remarks about 'stupid' candidates. There are also not many remarks about popular attacks that were not worth many marks. It is however clear that selecting the correct closest prior art is still one of the most important things to do, if you want to pass Paper C.

Interesting: Only 5 marks for legal issues.


  1. Hi Joeri,

    one of the 'anonymous' posters who defended the I.S. attack for the claim 4 plastic alternative. Not here to say I told you so, but instead to thank you DP guys

    I did pass, with a high 70s' mark. With some help from taking your methodology course - so thank you DP - the course and material is excellent.

    I am interested to know now if you are changing your course material or your own model answer to reflect the position taken by the examination committee?

  2. 5 points for legal issues? Yes the client's letter points have been diminished, but there are some points given for use of information in the general opening part of the grounds of opposition.

    PRI, effective dates of claims and Art. 54(3) EPC 2000 were given 8 points.

    So 13 non-attack points; 87 points for the actual attacks on the 9 claim objects.

  3. @Anonymous 1: We will of course change our material to make clear that a 'new' effect may also be a similar effect, but to a greater extent.

    @Anonymous 2: In the end, all issues in the C-exam are legal issues. It's a legal exam. Determining effective dates and admissible prior art is an important part of the attacks and is therefore part of the Facts and Arguments.
    With 'legal issues' we mean: everything that must be dealt with in the letter to the client.