Revision of the requirements for the filing of divisional applications (amendment of Rules 36, 38, and 135 EPC)
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18 October 2013
The Administrative Council has adopted in its meeting of
October an amendment of the provisions of the European Patent Convention
dealing with the requirements for the filing of divisional applications, namely
Rules 36, 38, and 135.
The decision enters into force on 1. April 2014 and will apply to divisional applications filed on or after that date. It enables the filing of divisional applications as long as the earlier (parent) application is pending. The 24-month time limits for the filing of divisional applications are repealed.
In addition, there will be an additional fee as part of the filing fee for divisional applications of second or subsequent generation. This means that the filing of divisional applications in respect of earlier divisional applications will be subject to an additional fee. The amounts of this fee grow progressively with each subsequent generation of divisional applications up to a certain level, becoming then a flat fee.