Subsequent to the filing of a European application or upon entry into the European phase of a Euro-PCT application, a divisional application may be filed. The divisional application is accorded the same date of filing as the parent application and has the benefit of any right of priority of the parent application in respect of the subject-matter contained in the divisional application. However, the parent application must be pending when a divisional application is filed (A‑IV, 1.1.1). A European application may give rise to more than one divisional application. A divisional application may itself give rise to one or more divisional applications.
Divisional applications are to be treated in the same manner as ordinary applications and subject to the same requirements as these unless specific provisions of the EPC, in particular Art. 76 or Rule 36, require something different (G 1/05, G 1/06).
Furthermore, as soon as the requirements set forth in Rule 36 and Art. 76(1) are fulfilled, the proceedings for grant of a divisional application become separate and independent from the proceedings concerning the parent application (G 4/98). Pending opposition or appeal proceedings concerning the parent application (or any other member of that family of applications) are not a reason to adjourn the examination of a divisional application, neither by the EPO of its own motion nor upon request. Reasons for a stay or interruption of proceedings are set out in E-VII, 1, to E-VII, 3.