New Regional Secretary for Cambridge!

Please join me in welcoming our new regional secretary for the Cambridge area, Lindsay Pike. Below is a short intro and hello from Lindsay.

Hi all! I’m Lindsay and I’m the new regional secretary for Cambridge. I started training as a patent attorney in January (2020!) with D Young & Co in London but I live in Cambridge – yes this means a long commute! During my PhD I was a social secretary for graduate students and after a few months at DYC realised I was missing this element from my life – as luck would have it, the Informals Committee had a vacancy for a Cambridge rep.  

I’m really looking forward to meeting other trainees in Cambridge – I’ve been sent an old mailing list from last year that I will soon send a message to, but if you don’t think you’ll be on it or you want to get in touch with me before then please email me at

At the moment it will be difficult to host any “face to face” events but I’m hoping to organise a virtual coffee morning or after-work meeting, so hopefully speak to some of you soon!

Informals speak to the ‘Two IPs In A Pod’

CIPA council members Lee Davies and Gwilym Roberts have established a new podcast with rather catchy name, “Two IPs In A Pod”. Today, in the latest episode, Lee and Gwilym are joined by Informals Honary Secretary Carolyn Palmer; Blog, Website and Social Media Editor Joel David Briscoe [JDB: yes, that’s me – such a mouthful]; and former regional secretary Kevin Rich, to talk about the trainee perspective to isolation.

During the podcast, we discuss how training has had to adapt during the lockdown, how we have been coping with the lockdown from a trainee point of view, and of course – we discuss Lee’s tortoise, who reveals the name of the sex-mad, croc-loving, reptile (spoiler, it is just as catchy as the name of the podcast).

You can find the podcast here. We hope you enjoy listening to the episode, as much as we enjoyed recording it.

[Guest Post] FD1 Coffee Table Questions

the message below is from fellow trainee and yellow sheet reader, Andy Weaver.

After a successful first year, I am again running the Coffee Table Questions for people who are gearing up to take the FD1 finals exam. Essentially, this service mails you a question in the style of FD1 part A every Monday and Friday (except bank holidays). The mark schemes are also provided in due course so that you can review your answer.

The idea of this is to help you to explore your knowledge of the syllabus and help to provide some structure to your revision.

If anyone would like to receive these directly to their inbox, please could they e-mail this e-mail address with the subject line ‘Subscribe’. Please note we are already up to question 10, but previous questions are provided so that you can catch up.

A couple of things to note:
Firstly, for GDPR purposes if you subscribe you are consenting to me retaining your e-mail address for the sole purpose of sending you this bi-weekly e-mail. It will not be shared with any third parties other than the e-mail provider (of course), nor used for any other purpose by me. You can unsubscribe at any time by mailing with the subject line ‘unsubscribe’. All e-mail addresses are deleted the week of the exams.

Secondly, this mailing list is provided voluntarily and at no cost by an unqualified trainee for mutual revision purposes to other trainees preparing for the FD1 final exam. There may be inaccuracies in the mark schemes provided, and the author is happy to consider fleshed out corrections for circulation. If in any doubt, please check with a qualified Patent Attorney. These questions and mark schemes are provided for the purpose of aiding revision only. Although I don’t think this needs to be said, the information contained therein must not be relied upon in any other situation.

I hope you will join me and take part: together we can best the FD1 beast.


Transitioning from Graduate to Trainee

As many of us will have experienced at somepoint, the move from University to the working world, in particular becoming a trainee, has its challenges. Luckily for us, the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is devleoping resources focused on the transition between higher education and employment, and our friends over at Jonathan’s Voice reached out to share this survey to help the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust build this project, so that it caters for us too.

The survey is primarily intended for those who have been in their employment for two years or less. If this isn’t you, please share the link through your networks. They are currently working on this project as we type –

You can access the survey here, and share on your social media by tweeting below.

I just helped future graduates with their transition to work. You can too

Virtual IP inclusive things to do

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May 2020), the North of England network are inviting people from across the IP community to share their reflections on how they’ve managed to adjust to new situations recently. They say that all contributions and observations, no matter how small, are welcome.

If you would like to participate, send in your comments to with approximately 100-200 words providing your comments on (i) your new situation (in a personal or professional capacity, or both), (ii) if you feel you have been able to address any issues arising from that situation, and (iii) if so what you have done to move yourself towards a positive space. They wish to mark each day of Mental Health Awareness Week with stories that we can all hopefully share in and relate to.

All submissions will be posted online anonymously.

Here’s some example topics to talk about:

  • Is a member of your household a key worker? Have you had to change how the household is run as a result?
  • Have you had to juggle childcare and working from home? Is support that is normally available to you (eg grandparents) no longer available due to social distancing?
  • Adapting to a new working environment – have your roles and responsibilities changed as a result of working from home? Have your working hours changed?
  • Feelings of social isolation – whether that be distancing from close relatives, friends, or partners. Are members of your household having to live elsewhere?
  • Cancellation of personal or professional events eg birthdays, weddings, christenings, holidays, health appointments, examinations, personal development courses, etc.

And since this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is “kindness”:

  • What particularly special acts of kindness have you come across, say from people you live or work with, during lockdown?

Send in your submissions no later than Friday 15 May 2020.

Also, here’s some upcoming events to look forward too, I will see hear you there!

  • ‘Bullying and harassment in the workplace’ at 12:30 pm on Thursday 14 May. Register here.
  • Mental Health Awareness week events (various). See here for their website.
  • Pride month kicks off in June, why not read up on the history of pride here.
  • Now more than ever, we are looking after eachother and when we say ‘how are you?’ we mean it. Volunteer week kicks off 1 June, you can find out more here.
  • ‘Why D&I matters to recruiters’ at 4 pm on Tuesday 2 June. Register here.

Enrolment for the 2021 Pre-EQE

This is your friendly reminder from your fellow trainees not to forget to enrol for the Pre-EQE before the deadline on 11 May 2020.

You will need to verify that you (will) meet the requirements as set out in Article 11(2) REE and Rule 15 IPREE, by 1 March 2021 – access the REE here – and are familiar with the Annoucement of the upcoming EQE.

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline includes receiving the fees – if the fees do not arrive on time, this may lead to non-acceptance of the application, despite successful submission of your other data. (credit cards should be fine, but bank transfer-ers beware!)

[Tutorials] PEB Tutorials

From our mentoring and tutorial coordinator, Waseem Aldeek:

Dear trainees,

In case you missed our previous notification, we are restarting our Tutorial Scheme for the trainees who are on the verge of sitting their final exams.

In order to participate in this scheme, you must organise at least one tutorial yourself.  Accordingly, this is the right time to give a little nudge to your supervisors/colleagues to take part in these tutorials so that you can benefit from them.

For more details, please visit the tutorials page on the Yellow Sheet website, here.  All the tutorial openings will be listed there and updated on a regular basis, alongside a post about each tutorial being offered.

To participate in the tutorial scheme, please email our tutorial coordinator Waseem (

Happy Studying!

[Tutorials] PEB FD4 2005 Tutorial – VERY SOON!

We have a new FD4 tutorial, which is very soon, so for those interested, please take note of the hand-in date (tomorrow at the time of writing) and contact Waseem immediately.

  •  PEB FD4 2005 – on 30th April 2020 at 4:30pm (online, meeting link will be provided) (hand in work by 24th April 2020)

As always, to sign up or for more information, make sure to contact our Tutorial Coordinator, Waseem.

Update on cancelled EQEs from EPO

This morning, all candidates enrolled for the March 2020 Pre-EQE or any of the main EQEs (papers A, B, C and D) received a communication from the Supervisory Board of the EQEs, updating them on the situtation regarding the cancelled exams. In short, it is mixed news.

The Supervisory Board has unanimously decided that:

  • No European qualifying examination (pre-examination or main exams) will be held in 2020;
  • anyone who so wishes will be allowed to enrol for the 2021 main examination, provided that the conditions in Article 11 REE are fulfilled (see below for those conditions);
  • candidates who enrolled for a main exam in 2020 are considered to be enrolled for the same exam in 2021, i.e. all fees are carried over to 2021. A candidate may enrol for an additional exam, but that will be subject to the normal fees [Joel: this shouldn’t include another registration fee, because your registration fee from 2020 will be carried over]. If a candidate withdraws, fees will be refunded accordingly.
  • Due to the exceptional circumstances, (and to provide some sort of continuity for candidates?), 2021 main examination answers will be marked on the basis of the legal texts and documents in force on 31 October 2019 or 31 October 2020, which ever gives you the higher mark! [somewhat nice?]

I am sure you and your colleagues have had a good chin-wag about the details of the communication, and what it means for you, especially if you were due to sit the pre-eqe in March 2020. However, from what I can gather, anyone who so wishes can enrol for the 2021 main examination, so long as you satisfy all the requirements in Article 11 REE, which include (citing the points of contention here and not the obvious ones you will have already satisfied, such as the university level scientific qualification):

  • (2)(a)(i) completed a full-time training period of at least three years; or
  • (2)(a)(ii) worked full-time for a period of at least three years in the employment of a natural or legal person whose residence or place of business is within a contracting state;
  • (7) …if such a pre-examination is held, candidates who apply to be enrolled for the [main] examination must have obtained a pass grade in the pre-examination

However, looking at Article 1 REE:

  • (2) The period between two examination shall not exceed twenty-five months
  • (7) if a pre-examination is held, the provisions of this regulation shall apply mutatis mutandis.

It is not explicitly clear if the pre-exam will be determined to have been held if it is held again in 2021 within the 25 months, but I think we should attempt to understand the intention of the EPO and epi when they made this decision. Passing the pre-EQE doesn’t give the candidate any right to practice, only to sit the main exam. Whereas passing the main EQEs allows a candidate to go out and act as an EPA, without any consequence if they are ill prepared.

In other words, if you planned to sit the pre-exam in 2020 and planned to sit one or more main exam papers in 2021, and you satisfied all requirements for both, you can move on as planned – without having sat the pre-eqe [Joel: that’s my opinion anyway] and the pre-examination is deemed to be not held [because let’s face it – it wasn’t and they said in decision 1 above!]. Article 1 seems to me to just make sure that the Exams take place, where possible, so that we can have a chance at passing and limits the EPO to 25 months to make that happen.

CIPA recently weighed in on the Supervisory Boards communication, via a industry wide email on 22 April 2020:

CIPA is pleased that the Supervisory Board of the EQE has acted quickly, under challenging circumstances, to provide clear directions about the status of the 2020 and 2021 examinations. Whilst it caused great disappointment for candidates preparing to take the 2020 examinations, it was the right decision to cancel these in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The certainty now afforded to candidates over the 2021 examinations is most welcome, as is the decision to allow candidates who have been disadvantaged by the cancellation of the pre-examination to enrol directly onto the 2021 full EQE. CIPA has also been working to secure a larger venue than usual for 2021 to reduce the likelihood of any UK candidates having to travel to Munich to sit the examinations due to the large number of candidates involved.”

Richard Mair, CIPA President

If anymore information comes to light, we will follow up, or update this post.

  • Decision of the Supervisory Board: here.
  • Communication frm the Supervisory Board of the EQE: here.
  • Regulation on the European qualifying examination for professional representatives: here.
  • Implementing provisions to the Regulation on the European qualifying examination: here.

World Intellectual Property Day 2020

Hello and welcome to a post all about World Intellectual Property Day 2020, on 26 April. Nowadays, it seems there is a day for everything, and IP is no different, but what’s it all about?

WIPO created World IP Day to put innovation, inventors and creators around the world at the centre of attention alongside a theme for the campaign; viz. Green Future for 2020.

WIPO says that World IP Day celebrates the many inspiring inventors and creators around the world who are betting on a green future – the women, men and young people who are working on cleaner alternatives to legacy fossil-fuel-based technologies and better and more sustainable food and natural resource management systems, and who are using the IP system to support their work and its uptake and use in society.

Our commitment, the choices we make every day, the products we buy, the research we fund, the companies we support, and the policies and laws we develop, will determine how green our future is. But with innovative thinking and strategic use of IP rights, sustainability is within reach.

WIPO on innovation for a green future, see

If you or your firm would like some resources for World IP Day, WIPO are providing a whole bunch on templates, posters and cover photos for social media in their super special social media kit – found here.

Why not post some great ideas or innovations you’ve seen (at work or at home) or attitude changes you’ve made towards a greener future below?

Here’s an example, provided by WIPO:

“I feel very strongly about the impact plastic makes by polluting rivers and seas, where fish and other sea life suffer. To improve plastic’s hugely negative effect on the environment, I started taking personal steps to ensure less plastic is used within my peer group and that when I am using it, I’m recycling it. Educating people around me and making sure that more plastic is recycled is now a part of my daily life.”

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