European Qualifying Examination (EQE) is normally held once a year with the attendance of nearly three thousand candidates from various member states of the European Patent Organization.
Upon the announcements of the EPO dated 1 March and 4 March 2020 regarding the adopted precautionary measures against Covid-19, the candidates have received a notification from the EPO on 05.03.2020 about the cancellation of the EQE. Accordingly, it has been reported that the examination scheduled for 16-19 March 2020 was canceled; that the Board was assessing the feasibility of organizing the examination at a later stage during the current year and that the decision of the assessment would be shared with the students as soon as possible.
As it is known, EPO conducts the examination with a very high number of participants and supervisors in different cities of Europe such as Berne, Helsinki, Madrid, Munich, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Taastrup, The Hague and Walsall. EPO is thought to have to make this decision as the increase in Covid-19 cases in these cities and other countries of the world will create a significant health risk in the test centers where there will be hundreds of people.
The rate of spreading of the coronavirus and uncertainty over the coming months also creates difficulty in setting a new test date. Considering the evaluation of the exams, the right to appeal to the candidates after the exam and the application processes for the new term, it is probable that the exam would be completely canceled this year.