Rule 36 EPC, the expected change

Good news from the European Patent Office on divisional applications

The  President  of  the European Patent  Institute (EPI)  just  wrote   us to communicate that a decision was taken to change Rule 36 (1), Rule 38 and 135(2) , to enter into force on 1 April 2014. They would apply to divisional applications filed  on or after that date.

Brief summary of the main proposal submitted by the President of the European Patent Office:

“The Office proposes to amend Rules 36 and 135 EPC to  allow  the  filing   of divisional applications as long as the earlier application  is  pending.  It  also   proposes to establish an additional fee as part of the filing fee in the case of divisional applications filed in respect of an earlier application which is itself                 a divisional application by amending Rule 38 EPC.

This is  the  result  of consultations made by the EPO between 4th March and 5th April 2013 and discussions held at meetings of the SACEPO (Standing Advisory Committee before the European Patent Office) Working Party and SACEPO.

We are glad to see that the EPO took into account what lots of applicants and attorneys were waiting for, and gave the long-awaited response.

This calls for a toast! To enjoy this news let’s talk about the additional fee another day!. 

 Seni Cueto