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Guidelines for Examination

 
 

2.4.1 Divisional applications

In relation to A‑IV, 1 ("European divisional applications") there is no provision in the PCT for filing divisional applications. One or more European divisional applications may be filed in respect of subject-matter contained in a pending Euro-PCT application, but not before the latter application has entered the European phase (see A‑IV, 1.1.1A‑IV, 1.1), i.e. not before the time limit under Rule 159(1) (in conjunction with Art. 22(1) PCT and Art. 22(3) PCT) has expired (see G 1/09, Reasons 3.2.5), and on condition that any requirement of Art. 22(1) PCT which must be fulfilled within that time limit for the application concerned is met (see J 18/09). Furthermore, divisional applications may be filed as from the date the applicant has requested early processing in accordance with Art. 23(2) PCT (see J 18/09, ReasonReasons 9, and E‑VIII, 2.9). For the sake of completeness it is noted that the requirements of Rule 36 for filing divisionals must be complied with (see A‑IV, 1). The divisional application must be filed in the language specified in Rule 36(2) (see A‑IV, 1.3.3). In order to avoid that the Euro-PCT application is deemed withdrawn at the time a divisional application is filed, the respective requirements of Rule 159(1) EPC must be fulfilled within the relevant time limits (see also the Guide for applicants: "How to get a European patent, Part 2: PCT procedure before the EPO – Euro-PCT").