The 24-Month Time Limit for Filing European Divisional Patent Applications Removed

 
The time limit for filing divisional applications in Europe of within 24 months from the issuance of the first office action or from the first communication of a non-unity objection has been removed, upon the entry into effect of the amended Rules 36, 38 and 135 of the Implementing Regulations to the European Patent Convention (EPC) as of 1 April 2014.
 
With the new rules in force, a European patent application or a Euro-PCT application having entered the European phase can be divided, as long as the earlier European patent application is pending on or after 1 April 2014.
 
Concurrently, an additional fee is imposed on divisional applications filed in respect of any earlier application which is itself a divisional application, i.e. a divisional application of second or subsequent generation. 
 
The fee is incremental, with a divisional application of the second generation being €210, the third generation €420, the fourth generation €630, and the fifth or any subsequent generation €840.