C. Mulder: A Self-Study Guide for the Pre-Examination of the EQE, Part I: The Legal Questions, Edition 2017
D. Visser (NL)
Helze BV, Publisher, pp. 249, paperback, ISBN 978-90-821932-6-8
Lecturer in European patent law and European patent attorney Cees Mulder has written another volume in his series of books on preparation for the European qualifying examination. His latest book is for students preparing for the legal questions of the pre-examination of the European Qualifying Examination. The quality of the book is based on the author's experience in training students, both for the D part of the main exam and for the legal questions of the pre-exam.
The major part of the Guide, 225 of the 249 pages, consists of a series of tables with an overview of the legal provisions a student should read. The subject-matter of the EPC and PCT has been divided in twelve blocks following the order of the epi-CEIPI Study Guide. In addition to the Study Guide, the tables in each block provide a reference to relevant parts of the Guidelines and cross-references to other blocks for most legal provisions. The tables appear to be a useful tool for a student to structure his studies. The author gives the time-honoured advice to use questions for practicing the knowledge after having studied the subject-matter of a block. A useful addition would be a demarcation between the subject-matter required for the pre-exam and that for the main exam.
The Guide recommends spending at least 400 hours on the preparation for the pre-exam. However, it does not state how much time should be allotted to the legal part. The suggested time schedule for the legal part includes 32 weeks of study and rehearsing. It would be valuable to have a breakdown of the study load, so a student can free sufficient time each week for the preparation. Moreover, a remark about the usefulness of training for a national exam could be added. A completed preparation for a serious national exam could reduce the time required for the pre-exam preparation probably by a factor of four.
The most important parts of the Guide are the chapters on methodology and on time management. These two chapters comprise only six pages in total. Here you find unique material that makes the Guide really worthwhile. The methodology chapter gives a method for analysing a legal question, searching for keywords, and finding the answer in a three-step process. The method is clarified using a question based on the pre-exam paper of 2015. It discusses in depth how to handle dates in questions. A more in-depth discussion of the methodology itself, in particular the three-step process, with an analysis of more questions would be welcomed; the methodology chapter is just too brief.
The time management chapter gives valuable advice on how to divide the available time for the exam over the legal questions and the claim analysis. More information could be provided on how to proceed in case of emergency, such as when running out of time.
The Guide is a very useful tool for students preparing for the pre-exam. A next edition would benefit from more condensed tables and a more extended methodology part.