3.1.3 Joint applicants

In J 2/01 (OJ 2005, 88) the Legal Board held that joint applicants could not acquire a procedural status different from that of a single applicant, because otherwise each of them could perform different and contradictory procedural acts, including the filing of different versions of the patent to be granted. Therefore, where an application (the "earlier application") had been filed jointly by two or more applicants and the requirements of Art. 61 or R. 20(3) EPC 1973 (now R. 22 (3) EPC) had not been met, the right to file a divisional application in respect of the earlier applications under Art. 76 EPC 1973 was only available to the registered applicants for the earlier application jointly and not to one of them alone or to fewer than all of them.

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