On October 18, the Administrative Council of the European Patent Office (EPO) has announced an amendment in the rules for divisional applications.
Amendements to rule 36 PPC entered in force in 2010 allowed the filing of divisional applications up until the time of 24 months after the first Communication from the Examining Division.
Said amendments did not have the desired effect of reducing the number of divisional application and the Administrative Council has decided on the following changes effective April 1, 2014:
As of April 1, 2014 it will be possible to file a divisional application for as long as the parent application is still pending. This rule will be in force for any application (still) pending on April 1, 2014.
The EPO will introduce a progressive fee for divisional applications of divisional applications (so-called second or later generation applications). The precise details of the new fee will be made public at a later date.