The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation has approved, through a decision of 16 October 2013, some major changes relative to the requirements for filing divisional applications, that will become effective on 1st April 2014.
The most relevant amendment is indeed the revocation of the 24-month time limit for filing a divisional application, which was introduced in April 2010.
Now, according to the decision, it will again be possible to file a divisional application as long as the parent European patent application has not yet been granted, being the pendency of the parent European patent application the only set requirement.
The new provisions will apply to any European patent applications that will be pending as from 1st April 2014.
Under these new provisions will also fall any European patent applications for which the 24-month time limit has already expired.
The endorsed decision may lead to the introduction of an additional filing fee for divisional applications deriving themselves from earlier divisional applications.
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