5.8.002A divisional application may be filed only for subject-matter which does not extend beyond the content of the parent application as filed. If it complies with this provision and with the formal requirements for according a date of filing (see point 5.2.001 et seq.), it is deemed to have the same date of filing as the parent application. A valid divisional application also enjoys the priority right(s) of the parent application.
All the states designated in the parent application at the time of filing of the divisional application are deemed to be designated in the latter. However, contracting states the designations of which have been withdrawn or are deemed to be withdrawn in respect of the parent application at the time of filing the divisional application cannot be designated in respect of the divisional application. The same applies to extension and validation states.
5.8.003A 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. It ceases to be pending if it is finally refused or if it is withdrawn or deemed to be withdrawn. If an application has been refused, a divisional application may still be validly filed until the expiry of the appeal period, regardless of whether an appeal has been filed or not.
5.8.004Divisional applications must be filed direct with the EPO in Munich, The Hague or Berlin. They can be filed in electronic form (see point 4.3.001). The language of the proceedings is always the same as for the earlier (parent) application. If the parent application was filed in a language other than the language of the proceedings, the divisional application may also be filed in this other language. Then, however, a translation into the language of the proceedings of the parent application must be filed within two months.
The search fee is refunded in full or in part, depending on the extent to which the search can be based on the search report for the parent (or, in the case of a sequence of applications, any preceding) application.
If the divisional application is filed more than two years after the date of filing of the parent application, the accumulated renewal fee(s) (see points 5.9.001-5.9.004) are due on filing of the divisional application but can be validly paid without any additional fee within four months of this filing. If not paid within this period, the accumulated renewal fees may still be validly paid within six months of the due date, provided they are paid together with an additional fee (see point 5.9.003).
After filing, each divisional application is treated as an independent patent application.