Patents (China) [Q34]
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20. Q: When may a divisional application be filed?
  A:

Where a patent application contains two or more inventions not belonging to a single general inventive concept (i.e. having unity defect), the applicant may submit a divisional application on his own initiative or in accordance with the examination opinions provided by the examiner. 
(1) Where the patent application has been granted the patent right, the deadline for filing a divisional application shall be no later than the expiration of two months from the date of receiving the Notification to Grant Patent Right in respect of the application issued by the Chinese Patent Office. If the patent application itself is a divisional application, the deadline for filing a divisional application shall be no later than the expiration of two months from the date of receiving the Notification to Grant Patent Right in respect of the initial parent application issued by the Chinese Patent Office. If, however, the examiner raises a unity rejection in a divisional application during examination, the deadline for filing a divisional application based on the already filed divisional application shall be no later than the expiration of two months from the date of receiving the Notification to Grant Patent Right to the divisional application (instead of the initial parent application of the divisional application) issued by the Chinese Patent Office;
 
(2) Where the patent application has been rejected, a divisional application may be filed within three months from the date of receiving the rejection decision by the applicant; a divisional application may also be filed during the reexamination period after the request for reexamination is filed or during the initiation of the administrative litigation against the reexamination decision; 

(3) Where the patent application has been withdrawn, or is deemed to have been withdrawn or the right has not been restored, no divisional application may be filed.

It is worth noting that a divisional application may be submitted not only for overcoming a unity defect. In practice, a divisional application is usually filed such that a set of more desirable claims can be submitted for the invention contained in a patent application. 
 

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