THE ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN PATENT ORGANISATION,
Having regard to the European Patent Convention (hereinafter referred to as "EPC") and in particular Article 33(1)(c) thereof,
On a proposal from the President of the European Patent Office,
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Patent Law,
HAS DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:
1. Rule 36(1) of the Implementing Regulations to the EPC shall read as follows:
"(1) The applicant may file a divisional application relating to any pending earlier European patent application, provided that:
(a) the divisional application is filed before the expiry of a time limit of twenty-four months from the Examining Division's first communication under Article 94, paragraph 3, and Rule 71, paragraph 1 and 2, or Rule 71, paragraph 3, in respect of the earliest application for which a communication has been issued, or
(b) the divisional application is filed before the expiry of a time limit of twenty-four months from any communication in which the Examining Division has objected that the earlier application does not meet the requirements of Article 82, provided it was raising that specific objection for the first time.
(1) This decision shall enter into force on 26 October 2010.
(2) Without prejudice to Article 3 of decision CA/D 2/09 of the Administrative Council, Rule 36, paragraph 1, as amended by Article 1 of this decision, shall apply to divisional applications filed on or after 1 April 2010.
Done at The Hague, 26 October 2010
For the Administrative Council