Friday, 27 February 2015

EQE Paper C 2015 - Carving out a solution

After the ski of paper B we get snowboards with paper C (English, French, German). Candidates faced claims with different dates, admissibility problems, added subject matter, multiple novelty attacks and the usual agonizing over the closest prior art.

Claim 1

This claim is a very broad, and gives little information on the relationship between the various elements. This should be used to do no less than three novelty attacks: a novelty attack on 54(3) document A6, a novelty attack based on A5 and a novelty attack based on the trade show Ski, Hop and Jump as evidenced by A2.

The novelty attack based on A2 is quite weak, as we hardly have evidence for the disclosure. The answer should make this clear, by presenting what little evidence we have now and offering to present additional evidence.

Claim 2

The novelty attacks of Claim 1 do not extend to Claim 2. Note, that the snow board of A2 is not unidirectional.

This leaves us with inventive step attacks. There are two potential closest prior arts: A2 and A3.

Starting from A3 would lead to a conventional inventive step attack with A4 as combining document.

Starting from A2 we have a number of problems. In theory we could finish this attack starting from A2 and combining with common general knowledge to change to board from freestyle to unidirectional. However, there are several drawbacks for this approach. First of all, evidentiary A2 is a weak document. Second, changing from freestyle to unidirectional may be quite a change. As the core determines the shape of the board, the entire board has to be thrown away and one has to start again from scratch.

Between these two options, the attack A3+A4 seems stronger, so we opt for this one.

Claim 3

There are no novelty attacks. Candidates for closest prior art are A2 (which for this claim is much stronger, as Claim 3 has a later effective date), and A3. Both documents miss the matrix, but A3 misses much more. Moreover, with A3 we have the problem of starting with the wrong type of snow board (unidirectional instead of freestyle). The attack based on A2 + A6 seems to work fine.

Claim 4

This is an 'or' claim because it refers back to two different claims: claims 2 and 3. These two variants should be attacked separately. Claim 4(3) was added during prosecution but does not have support. It can be attacked under A. 100(c). Claim 4(2) refers back to Claim 2 for which we already have an inventive step attack. Fortunately, the new feature of Claim 4 is part of the closest prior art, so the attack for claim 2 can be extended to claim 4(2).

Claim 5

This claim introduces a claimed object, a damper instead of a sports article. We find dampers in A2, A3, and A5. A2 is a weak document here, and misses the sensing, the filtering, and the frequencies. We discard this option. A3 shows sensing, but not together with dampening. A3 shows filtering but only for sensing not for dampening. A5 on the other hand has all features except the correct frequency. Moreover, A5 explains that the frequency can easily be changed, and that the damper may be used for other sports articles. It appears that A5 is thus the better closest prior art, A3 is then used as the combining document. A potential weak point of an attack based on A5+A3 is that A5 is only concerned with longitudinal waves whereas A3 needs damping for torsional waves. In the end the combination A5+A3 seems easier to make then the reverse one, so we opt for this.

Claim 6

There are two potential closest prior arts for this claim: A2 and A3. Although, easy to miss, A2 actually has every feature of claim 6 except the measuring step. A3 on the other hand, has the measuring step but also a teaching away against the piezoelectronic damper. The combination A2+A3 works thus much better than starting from A3.

In summary, our attacks are:

Claim 1: Novelty A2, A5, A6
Claim 2: Inventive step A3+A4
Claim 3: Inventive step A2+A6
Claim 4(2): Inventive step A3+A4
Claim 4(3): Added subject matter
Claim 5: Inventive step A5+A3
Claim 6: Inventive step A2+A3

Sander, Jelle, and Joeri

Here now also our unique analysis sheet, used in our methodology courses and model solution for all papers. Also this year it lead to the solution in a straightforward way, but the exam was a lot of work.

© Copyright DeltaPatents, 2015
All rights reserved. No part of this answer may be reproduced, used in any way for generating further course material or updates, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written consent of DeltaPatents.
The answer is made available for personal use only.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Strict rules of conduct for the exam

We have now received a clear confirmation of the policy during the exam regarding electronic devices from the EQE secretariat:

Electronic devices are strictly forbidden in the examination hall, no matter if they are turned off or not.
Any candidate found with such a device in the hall is clearly breaching the regulations, and he/she might face disqualification from the exam.
The only electronic devices which may be allowed in the examination hall are medical devices that candidates need for health reasons.
We recommend that candidates leave their mobile phone at their hotels if they are travelling.
There are no cloakrooms at the examination centre, however we will provide envelopes (you will have to write your name on it) where the device can be placed and it will be put in a box.
The box will be outside of the examination hall. Neither the Examination centres nor the Examination Secretariat  will take any responsibility for loss or damage to the items stored in this box.
This is probably not the solution that you wanted, but this is becoming common practice for exams. A simple watch with an analogue dial is the only thing you can have with you.

So either leave them all at home, or in the hotel, or car, or in train station locker.

And finally: we wish all candidates good luck!!!