Grace Period for Filing EPO Divisionals Ending Soon

As many of you know, April 1, 2010 ushered in numerous changes affecting PCT applications in the EPO.  One such change involved the timing for filing a divisional off of a parent application.

Prior to April 1, 2010, an applicant could file a divisional application anytime throughout the pendency of the parent. Under the new EPO rules, a divisional application now must be filed within 2 years of the issuance of the Examining Division’s first communication.  If a later communication contains a non-unity objection, the applicant has 2 years from the date of that communication to file a divisional.  Therefore, the deadline for filing divisional applications may now arrive much earlier than the issuance of the parent application.

For cases that were pending on April 1, 2010, the EPO provided a grace period that permits divisional applications to be filed up to October 1, 2010, even if that date is beyond the 2-year anniversary of the first communication.

Therefore, if you haven’t already, review your patent portfolio and get those divisionals filed!


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