Learn about the new professional standard QPIP, and how to become certified, from Fredrik one of QPIPs newest members
1 Congratulations on your certification! How does it feel?
Thank you! It feels great. QPIP certification is a good acknowledgment for professionals in patent information.
2 What made you decide on taking the QPIP exam?
As soon as I learned about QPIP I wanted the opportunity to prove my skills as a patent information specialist. Further, my employer Uppdragshuset strives for, and gives support for, all consultants to achieve the certification.
3 What was the criteria to participate and how were your preparations?
To be able to register for the exam you must have at least three years of work experience with at least 60 % spent on patent searching, completed at least 45 search projects, and hold a relevant university degree or have work experience in a scientific or technical field.
My preparations involved studying theory, taking a mock exam, and foremost, breaking down all the steps I take during a search in my day-to-day work, to be able to explain in detail what I do, how I do it and why I do what I do. This also gave me an opportunity to reflect over my search methodology and compare and discuss best practice with my colleagues.
4 Can you take us through the exam?
The exam was held over two days, the 23rd and 25th February 2021. It involved six different parts divided over 16 hours test time. The first day involved a Search paper in two parts and the second day an Analysis paper in four parts.
5 It would be interesting to know more about the different parts. Could you elaborate?
Yes sure. So, the search paper on the first day was to test us on the skills to devise and perform searches. Most of the points awarded were for the explanation about devising and finalising a search strategy and all the choices made. You were given the choice of a chemical, engineering or life sciences related topic, of which I chose engineering. First off, we had a patentability case study about a customer with a developed prototype that would like to know whether or not it would be worth applying for a patent to protect their invention. After that it was time to perform a patent infringement risk search for a client that was a manufacturer of diving masks who wanted to incorporate LiFi technology for the communication between divers. The client had an indemnity agreement with a manufacturer of LiFi transceivers but wanted to avoid litigation from infringing third party patents relating to the technology in their own products.
Day 2 was reserved for the Analysis paper, which started out with a general theory exam that tested our knowledge about e.g. the major patent systems, patent classifications, and patent law. Then we had a validity case study where we should select and categorize documents as to whether they are of interest and valid or not as prior art. Lastly, we had two parts about patent landscaping. The first was a set of essay questions related to patent landscaping, for example what to consider when faced with such a search and how to process the results. The last part of the exam was to test our patent landscaping skills where we were given roughly 2000 patent documents related to robotic sensing and asked to present different data representations and our analysis of these together with an executive summary.
6 What was the biggest challenge?
Well, time went by fast! You really had to keep your focus from start to finish to be done in time. As for me, I felt that my preparations were good and crucial for me to pass. If I did not practice to write out my approach to searches beforehand I would have surely missed explaining important details I normally do without contemplation.
7 Do you have any tips for those taking the exam next time?
Well, I would say take your time to prepare for all the parts and your chances to succeed will surely improve (wow, who would have thought 😊). Well to give a more concrete tip, you can for instance prepare a good approach to each search type beforehand and check your devised search strategies with current best practice and fellow colleagues. Also, I believe it can be good to time yourself when you do mock exams or old exams to get a feel for how detailed you can be in your answers without missing important bits of information. Other than that I wish everyone good luck taking the exam or parts of it!