Mentoring Scheme: UK exams


Did you fail FD4 in 2016? Have you now failed it twice or more?

Do you intend to sit the examination again this October?

The Informals Committee is working with CIPA to offer mentoring if you have repeatedly sat one of these papers, to try to boost your self-confidence and help you pass the exam.

If you are in this situation and you would like help preparing for the 2017 exam, please email Informals Mentoring Coordinator Sara Jane Paines ( by 16:00 on Monday 12 June.  The Informals Committee will then work with CIPA to find you a mentor.  Please note that you must already have sat and failed FD4 in 2016, and two or more times without success to be eligible for mentoring.

If you receive mentoring for FD4, the PEB will send you a copy of your marked, examiner-annotated 2016 FD4 script, to try to help you and your mentor identify how to improve your technique for this year’s exam.  This marked script facility is only available for FD4 mentoring.



Did you fail FD1 in 2016? Have you now failed it twice or more?

Do you intend to sit the examination again this October?

If you failed FD1 in 2016, and wish to join the mentoring scheme you will need to use the unannotated copy that was available for download after your results were emailed to you.

If you are in this situation and you would like help preparing for the 2017 exam, please email Informals Mentoring Coordinator Sara Jane Paines ( by 16:00 on Monday 12 June.  The Informals Committee will then work with CIPA to find you a mentor.


In both cases your information will be treated in confidence and will be known only to Sara Jane, your mentor and the PEB (for FD4).  You will not be identified to your employer without your explicit consent.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Sara Jane.



Opportunity to visit the UKIPO with the Informals

The Informals Committee is happy to announce that the highly popular annual Informals trip to the Patent Office in Newport has been arranged. This year the visit will take place on the:

  • 1st June 2017
  • 8th June 2017
  • 15th June 2017

This visit is a great opportunity for trainee patent attorneys of any level of experience to see what happens in the Patent Office.

Previously the programme included:

  • Various talks organised by the IPO on topics such as accelerated patent prosecution, litigation and dispute resolution and seminars on either patentability of biotech inventions or excluded matter
  • A claim drafting workshop
  • A meeting with an examiner
  • A buffet lunch

Due to the high demand of the visit, places are limited and you will therefore have to sign up. Places are allocated on a first come and first-served basis. An email detailing how to sign up will be sent to all CIPA student members in the coming weeks.

We look forward to seeing you all.

Sanam Habib
Informals Patent Liaison Officer

Foundation Lecture change: Tuesday 24 January

Thank you to all those who attended the first two Foundation Lectures so far (or watched the webinar)!


There is a change to the timetable with regard to next week’s lecture. The lecture will now take place on Tuesday 24 January 2017.


Please find below the updated timetable.


Continue reading

Informals Foundation Lectures

The CIPA Informals Foundation Lecture series will begin on 9 January 2017 and provide an introduction to many of the topics covered by the Foundation Exams.


The lectures will take place in CIPA Hall at 95 Chancery Lane and will begin at 5.30 PM.

They will also be streamed live via webinar (details on how to access these to follow).


After the lectures we will all be heading to a nearby pub which will provide a good opportunity to meet other trainees and chat to the lecturers!


The timetable for the lectures is as follows. Any changes to this will be posted on the Yellowsheet blog ( so keep an eye out!


We look forward to seeing you there,

Michelle and Kate
Foundation Lecture Organisers


Mon 9 January 2017 Introductory Lecture
Mon 16 January 2017 Novelty and Inventive Step
Mon 23 January 2017 Patentability and Excluded Matter
Mon 30 January 2017 Patent Searching
Mon 6 February 2017 Priority
Mon 13 February 2017 Claim Construction
Mon 20 February 2017 Renewals, Reinstatements and Restitution
Mon 27 February 2017 Amendments
Mon 6 March 2017 Ownership and Entitlement
Mon 13 March 2017 EPC
Mon 20 March 2017 Infringement
Mon 27 March 2017 Biotech Patents
Mon 3 April 2017 Basic English Law
Mon 10 April 2017 Unitary Patents
Tue 18 April 2017 Computer Patents
Mon 24 April 2017 Agreements relating to Patents
Tue 2 May 2017 Introduction to Copyright
Mon 8 May 2017 US Patent Law
Mon 15 May 2017 Company & Contract Law
Mon 22 May 2017 Attacking Patents
Tue 30 May 2017 IP and competition law
Mon 5 June 2017 Introduction to Trade Marks
Mon 12 June 2017 Introduction to Design Rights
Mon 19 June 2017 Security Provisions
Mon 26 June 2017 PCT


Open Letter from the CIPA Informals Regarding the UK Venue for the EQEs

Please find below a copy of the Open Letter which was sent Thursday evening to CIPA’s Chief Executive, CIPA Council and the EQE Examination Secretariat.

We are aware of a notice being sent out this morning from the EQE Secretariat to everyone who had been reallocated to Munich confirming that everyone who wishes to sit the EQE in Walsall is now able to do so, and should communicate by reply E-mail to the Secretariat by 10 AM GMT, Monday, 28 November 2016. Please be aware that no response means that you wish to maintain your original request and thus will be reallocated to Walsall.

This in no way changes our opinion on the situation, and further reflects the lack of communication regarding organisation of the 2017 EQEs in the UK. We are aware of the fact that many people have already taken steps to re-arrange their travel and accommodation plans for Munich, and this notice in no way compensates the time and money that has already been spent.

CIPA Informals’ Committee Education Coordinators

Open Letter from the CIPA Informals 24 November 2016

A message from the Education Coordinators regarding the UK EQE Venue

We are aware that many people have been affected by the allocation of venue for the 2017 EQEs which were communicated by the EPO yesterday.  In particular, we are aware of a large number of people who have been moved from a preference of UK (Walsall) to Munich.

We are currently in the process of preparing an Open Letter from the Informals Committee expressing our concerns as regard the current situation, as well as the general organisation of the UK Venue for the EQEs by CIPA on behalf of the UKIPO.  If you have any particular concerns or issues which you think we should address, please let us know at or

Furthermore, we will also be glad to provide any assistance or guidance as regard logistical arrangements if you have been moved to a different location for your EQEs.

Informals Education Coordinators

EQEs – venue and accommodation

You will have seen that in 2017, the EQE will be held in the Conference Centre at Walsall Football Club.  There have been questions as to how this will compare to Bristol.  I have investigated this venue personally and can assure you that it will be a very suitable venue.  The Conference Centre is a large single room on the first floor of one of the stands.  It is used as a theatre, conference centre and wedding venue.  It is fully insulated from the outside environment, has working heating and air conditioning and it is well lit. It has a carpeted floor and a PA system so that announcements can be easily heard.  There will be sufficient room for candidates to bring as much reference material as they want.

The venue is readily accessible by road, rail and air.  It is just 5 minutes from Junction 9 on the M6 and there is more than adequate free parking at the venue.  The venue is 5 minutes’ walk from Bescot Railway Station (over a footbridge).  The station is served from Birmingham New Street and it is easy to get to Birmingham New Street from Birmingham International Airport.

There is a very nice (not luxury) Park Inn Hotel on the same site as the Conference Centre.  CIPA has already arranged that 50 rooms are set aside for EQE candidates to book at the preferential rate of £75 bed and breakfast when you quote code: WFCCON.  There are only 50 rooms available on Sunday 5th March, 2017 but up to 75 rooms on other nights. As CIPA has not made a block booking, you must book the accommodation yourself if you wish to use this hotel.

There are also other reasonable hotels less than 5 miles from the venue.

If you have any further questions, please send an email to


Update to Patent Rules from 1 October 2016, impact on PEB exams

As some of you may be aware, there will be upcoming changes to the Patent Rules, some of which will take effect from 1 October 2016.  These have been covered on the IPKat Blog ( as well as on the UKIPO website (


As your education coordinators, we have sought for clarification from the PEB for the impact that this will have on this year’s Exams, due to take place in October.


For the avoidance of doubt, two changes taking effect from 1 October 2016 which are often issues which need to be addressed in PEB Examinations (especially in FD1) are:


Introduction of a new report under S18(4) giving advance notice of an intention to grant – this is effectively equivalent to a communication under R71(3) EPC, and will give applicants a chance to further amend/correct prior to grant, as well as being able to file divisional applications (though previous R19(3) will still apply, meaning that it still must be filed no later than 3 months before the end of the compliance period).


Removal of R32(2)(a) – the possible time period of 2 months from removal of non-compliance will no longer apply for applications to reinstate a terminated application.  Thus the relevant period will be a straight forward 12 months from termination.  This rule will also be retroactive, and thus some applications which could not have been reinstated may once again apply – provided all the other requirements are met.


One potential concern is that marks are often given for calculation of the requirements and relevant dates for the situation presented in FD1, and removal of a rule will have implications in that such calculations would obviously no longer be needed.


In response to our request, the Chief Examiner has simply restated:


Candidates are reminded that they will not be penalised for basing their answers on law that was enacted after 1st April 2016. Similarly, candidates will not be penalised for basing their answers on law that was in effect before 1st April 2016 and that has subsequently been amended


We understand that many of you are now deep into your revision timetables.  Thus, we would simply advise:


  • Be aware that the above laws (and others relating to minor formalities requirements) will change on 1 October 2016
  • If you are going to stick with the old law – be aware of changes to online texts (such as statute) which may occur in the weeks leading up to the Exam
  • Whichever set of laws you use, make sure you apply the law consistently through the whole of your Exam


On behalf of the CIPA Informals committee, we wish you the best of luck in the weeks ahead.


Feng Rao, Laura Jennings

CIPA Informals Education Coordinators 2016-17


EQE application deadline: tomorrow

I’m sure everyone who needs to has applied for the EQEs already, but just in case, this is a reminder that the deadline is tomorrow, 8 September 2016 (by which time payment also has to have been received):


More tutorials for 2016 PEB exams

More tutorials for the 2016 PEB exams have been added to the Tutorials page on the Yellow Sheet blog.  That page also includes instructions for how to sign up for a tutorial.


Remember: in general, you must organise a tutorial (e.g. by asking your supervisor or another UK-qualified colleague to lead a tutorial) in order to be eligible to take part in other tutorials.  However, if it will not be possible for you to organise a tutorial (e.g. because you work in a small firm or department with few or no UK-qualified attorneys, or because your supervisor works in a different office from you), please let the Informals Committee know your circumstances by following the instructions on the Tutorials page.