A divisional application may be filed in respect of any pending earlier European patent application. An application is pending up to (but not including) the date on which the European Patent Bulletin mentions the grant of the European patent or the date on which the application is finally refused, withdrawn or deemed to be withdrawn. After an application has been refused, a divisional application may be validly filed untill the expiry of the appeal period, regardless of whether an appeal has been filed or not.A divisional application must be filed within 24 months from the examining division's first communication under Article 94(3) and Rule 71(1), (2) or Rule 71(3) in respect of the earliest application in sequence for which a communication has been issued. A divisional application may, however, also be filed within 24 months from any communication in which the examining division has raised a specific objection of lack of unity in the earlier (or, in the case of a second or subsequent-generation divisional application, the relevant preceding) application for the first time. Re-establishment in respect of the time limits is available (see point 226).