European Patent Office repeals 24-month deadline for filing divisional patent applications


In a move being cheered the world over by patent practitioners and patent applicants alike, the EPO has announced an amendment to EPO Rule 36, thereby signaling the end of the 24-month time limit imposed on the filing of European divisional patent applications. The 24-month time limit was enacted back in 2010, and has had few fans.

Under the revised EPO Rules, on and after April 1, 2014, divisional applications may be filed so long as the earlier (parent) application is still pending. There will be a progressively increasing divisional application fee (up to a final flat fee) for each subsequent generation of divisional applications filed, presumably to discourage over-filing of divisional applications.

Practice Tip

For pending EPO applications for which Rule 36 currently bars the filing of a divisional application, keeping the application pending until the April 1, 2014 deadline will allow the case to again be the subject of a divisional application.

Written by:

Published In:


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.

© Saul Ewing LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* 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.