dimanche 24 juin 2012
On Tuesday, I am returning to Paris for yet another exam. This time, it is the French Qualifying Exam. It is held once a year, and consists of two written exams, followed by an oral exam if you pass the written.

So next week, I have the first exam, five hours, on Wednesday. It consists of drafting the claims and introduction of a patent application based on a letter from a client explaining their invention, as well as some documents as "prior art".
I am tempted to just do it in English, as the rules don't say that it has to be in French, and patent applications can be filed in English now.
But then, it is never a good idea to annoy the correctors;

The second exam, also five hours, is on Thursday. It consists of a letter from a client, and generally concerns a competitor who has accused the client of infringement of one of their patents. so you must study the validity of the patent, give advice as to whether or not you think they are infringing, and then what to do.

The oral exam is mid-October. True to French form, the results of the written exam are given about a month before the orals. The oral exam is "limited" to 45 minutes. As far as I have been able to gather, you are given a topic and have an hour or so to prepare, then you go in and expose the topic and your solution, and then they can ask you questions on that and anything else. Yippee.

If I pass the European exam (that I took in March), I can be exempted from the first written exam. But I won't know about that until the end of July/beginning of August, so it wouldn't be good for this year anyway. Some people wonder why I don't just wait until next year and take only the second exam (assuming I have passed the european exam). I want to at least try the first exam, and see how I do.

Each written exam is graded out of 20 points, and you have to have an average of 10/20 for both exams (so you could have 8 on one and 12 on the other for example) but a note of 7 or less is eliminatory.
If you take both the written exams, the oral exam has a coefficient of 2, but if you are exempted from the first exam (due to already being a European Patent Attorney), they assign you 10 points for that exam, and the oral exam has a coefficient of 1.

So it is advantageous if you are not very good at drafting patent applications nor oral exams, but disadvantageous if you are good at drafting patent applications and oral exams.

Got that?
It is almost as convoluted (but not quite), as the reglementation for the CEIPI exam in Strasbourg, that I took back in 2010:

Anyway, wish me luck!
lundi 11 juin 2012
Sunday morning, Alain and I returned to vote for the first round of the Legislative elections.

Geez French, how long do you have to drag this process along for?

Presidential campaigning, first round, more campaigning, second round, change of power, campaigning for the Legislative elections along with the flyers "I have (Presdential candidate's) support!", first round, more campaigning, second round.

From a 30 minute wait for the first round of the presidential election, to 10 minutes for the second round, to 0 minutes for the first round of the Legislatives, it seems like turn out is becoming less and less. Well duh. Want high turnout for the legislative election? How about holding it ON THE SAME DAY as the presidential election?

But French seem to have a need to know how the presidential election turned out before voting for the legislature.

One day, I swear I'm gonna buy a book "French government for dummies".

But still, I don't reckon it is any more difficult than trying to explain the US Electoral College. Uh, well, you see, each state has a certain number of electors, and they are supposed to vote according to the winning popular vote, but they are not obligated to, except for in some states, and uh, well Wikipedia it.

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