European Patent Office Eliminates “Two-Year Divisional” Rule


Office changes rules for filing divisional applications so they are no longer time barred.

On October 18, the Administrative Council of the European Patent Office (EPO) announced that the 2010 amendments to Rule 36 of the European Patent Convention will be repealed. Currently, Rule 36 mandates that divisional applications may only be filed within two years after the first communication from the Examining Division of the EPO. After this two-year window expires, it is no longer possible to file divisional applications, except in extraordinary circumstances. The repeal will permit the filing of a divisional application at any time during the pendency of a parent application, regardless of when the parent application was filed. The changes are effective as of April 1, 2014.

The Administrative Council of the EPO also announced that it will introduce progressive fees for divisional applications of divisional applications (so-called “second” or “later generation” applications) to reduce the number of applications. The precise details of the new fee will be announced at a later date.

Companies that have pending European applications and are considering filing divisional applications should maintain the pendency of these applications up to April 1, 2014 to provide applicants more flexibility in formulating a divisional filing strategy.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Morgan Lewis | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Morgan Lewis on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.