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Guidelines for Examination

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, 1.1.1), i.e. not before the time limit under Rule 159(1) (in conjunction with Art. 22(1) and (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, Reason 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 In order to avoid that the Euro-PCT application is deemed withdrawn at the time a divisional application is filed, the respective requirements of Rule 159(1) EPC must be fulfilled within the relevant time limits (see also the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").