Divisional applications - new Rule 36 EPC
As of April 1, 2014, it will again be possible to file a divisional European patent application based on any pending European patent application.
The European Patent Office has decided to abolish the time limit of 24 months from the first examination report for filing both voluntary and mandatory divisional European patent applications. Thus, it will again be possible to file a divisional European patent application as long as the earlier application, i.e. the parent application, is pending.
The decision enters into force on April 1, 2014 and applies to all divisional applications filed on or after that date.
The European Patent Office charges an increased filing fee for divisional applications filed in respect of any earlier application which is itself a divisional application.