|... but who has a fetish |
for Rule 36?
The unexpected but not unforeseeable consequence of the 2-year limit rule was that the number of divisionals actually increased, as applicants were forced to make a decision when they did not know how the prosecution of the parent was going. The IPKat is delighted, nay ecstatic, that this horrid little piece of legislation will be repealed.
If anyone sees news of an official announcement from the EPO on this matter, please post a comment below. The IPKat and his readers will be grateful and Katpats will be forthcoming.
UPDATE: Katpats to so many people, including the respondents below and the several email responses received, for providing the various contributions from HGF, Marks & Clerk, and EP&C, and for finally providing the EPO web announcement, to which I shall give the last word.
The Administrative Council has adopted in its meeting of October an amendment of the provisions of the European Patent Convention dealing with the requirements for the filing of divisional applications, namely Rules 36, 38, and 135.
The decision enters into force on 1. April 2014 and will apply to divisional applications filed on or after that date. It enables the filing of divisional applications as long as the earlier (parent) application is pending. The 24-month time limits for the filing of divisional applications are repealed.
In addition, there will be an additional fee as part of the filing fee for divisional applications of second or subsequent generation. This means that the filing of divisional applications in respect of earlier divisional applications will be subject to an additional fee. The amounts of this fee grow progressively with each subsequent generation of divisional applications up to a certain level, becoming then a flat fee.