The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office (EPO) has decided to revert to the old regime for filing divisional patent applications in Europe. Thus, as from April 1, 2014 it will be possible to file a divisional application based on any pending European application. The current 24 month time limit for filing divisional applications will no longer apply after April 1, 2014.
As a new rule an additional fee will apply for filing a divisional application of another divisional application, i.e. for a second generation divisional. The amount of the additional fee has not been fixed yet, however, the EPO has indicated that the fee will increase progressively for second and subsequent generation divisional applications.
For applications, where the 24 month time limit has already expired and grant of the patent is near, it may be advantageous to delay the grant so that a divisional application can be filed on or after April 1, 2014.
HØIBERG will be pleased to assist you with additional information on filing divisional applications in Europe.