How to appeal against your EQE results

The results of e-EQE 2021 are out and since there were a lot of questions on the appeals, here is a short summary of the process to appeal the exam results.

Who can appeal?

Anyone adversely affected (Art. 24(1) REE), so:

  1. If you got below 45 in a paper i.e. “FAIL”​
  2. If you got above 45, but below 50 i.e., “COMPENSIBLE FAIL”​, and don’t have points to compensate from other papers (or still have to do other papers).
  3. If you got above 50 (but below 60), i.e., “PASS”​, but need more points so as to compensate another paper.

You cannot appeal if you just want to have higher grades than you were given (were not adversely affected by the grade).

Time Limit

One month from the notification of the decision (Art. 24(2) REE).

Important: Complete statement of grounds of appeal should also be filed within this deadline.

Appeal Fees

€1200 -i.e., 600% of Exam fees (Rule 9 of IPREE)

Important: Payment should be also be made within the one-month deadline. Payment using the bank transfer only, use of a deposit account is NOT allowed for a Disciplinary appeal! (D 9/17)

Procedure for an appeal

  1. An appeal should be filed with the complete statement setting out the grounds, together with appeal fees within the time limit (one month from the notification of the decision) – Art. 24(2) REE
  2. On receipt, the Examination Board will consider if the appeal is a) admissible (can be appealed, filed in time), and b) allowable, i.e., well-founded and agree with your reasons. Art. 24(3) REE
  3. If the Examination Board thinks it is filed in time (admissible) and the reasons are convincing (allowable) – they must rectify its decision and order reimbursement of the appeal fee – Art. 24(3) REE
  4. If the Examination Board considers the appeal properly filed in time (admissible) but does not agree with the reasons (not allowable), the Examination Board should remit the appeal to the Disciplinary Board of Appeals (DBA)within two months from notification of the decision. (Art. 24(3) REE)
  5. The Board will then decide, and issue an opinion with a summons to Oral Proceeding if you had requested! (Art. 24(4) REE). The opinion will be issued around the end of the year, and the Oral Proceedings before the DBA early next year around the same time as the EQE exams.

Reasons for an Appeal

It is unclear how many appeals are successful in general as most successful appeals are already dealt with by the Examination Board without remitting them to the DBA.

However, the conditions under which an appeal is successful at the DBA are rather limited. (See, Case Law)

The appellant should be able to show that decision was based on serious and obvious mistakes. The alleged mistake must be so obvious that it could be established without re-opening the entire marking procedure, for instance, if an examiner was alleged to have based his evaluation on a technically or legally incorrect premise on which the contested decision rested. 

If you are able to show an obvious error in the question paper or lack of consistency or incorrect premises in marking in the Examiners’​ report, there are chances of success in an appeal.

Disturbance during Examination

Did you fail in the paper where you had disturbance during the Exam? Did you file an official complaint against the conduct of the Exam within the deadline?

If yes, did you receive a response to your complaint?

Because of the online exam for the first time, the DBA has not considered disturbance in the context of eEQE exam. However, according to normal practice, the Examination Board is supposed to react to your complaint and issue a provisional opinion, together with an invitation to comment (See Case Law on the Complaints about the conduct of the examination).

So, first, ask for such an opinion and how they considered your complaint and what measures were taken in your marking to rectify the situation. For D1.1 this has been rectified, but no information is available for other individual situations.


Drafting and filing an appeal takes a lot of time, effort and costs money, and since the conditions (serious and obvious mistakes) are rather limited, the chances of a successful appeal are low.

Also, it takes about a year for the final decision, so you cannot rely on the decision of the DBA and may have to retake the exams next year before the Oral Proceeding is completed.

Therefore, deciding to file an appeal depends on your situation and your reasons.

If you are on the borderline and/or realise that there are any serious errors in your marking, it may be worth an appeal.

Since the Examination Board is supposed to give their decision on your appeal within two months from the notification of decision (i.e., two months from today), you will know the result by end of August, well before registering for the exams next year.

Based on the decision, you can also consider withdrawing your appeal if you don’t find good reasons that it would be successful before the DBA – getting a (partial) refund of appeal fees depending on when you withdraw.

How to proceed

  • Read your answer sheets, Examiners’​ report and question paper in detail.
  • Check all the possible deductions or points mentioned in the report. List out where you lost points and why.
  • Are there any obvious errors in the question paper, or the Examiners’​ report?
  • Follow the EQE blogs and the discussions – check with your supervisor/tutors.
  • Take a good look and determine if it worth pursuing. Don’t hurry with filing the appeal and use the one month to draft a proper appeal.

Good luck with the appeal!

If you have any questions on the process or an appeal, feel free to contact me!

Über Preston Richard 1 Artikel
Herr Preston Richard ist Indischer Patentanwalt und European Patent and Trademark Attorney sowie Tutor für die Vorbereitung auf die EQE.