Timeliness and structure of auxiliary requests 

If auxiliary requests are filed after the final date set in accordance with Rule 116(2), they are usually treated as late-filed unless a summons to oral proceedings was issued as the first action.

For late-filed requests, in addition to the criteria set out in H‑III,, the subject-matter of the new claims must not diverge considerably from the claims already filed. The requests normally need to represent a convergent development, i.e. the subject-matter of the auxiliary requests constitutes a sequential limitation in the direction of an intended invention and does not make use of different characteristics in order to branch out in different directions (T 1273/04). In particular, the applicant cannot shift to the examining division the responsibility for defining the subject-matter of the application by filing a large number of unstructured requests or requests involving different variants (R 14/10): this leads to the requests not being admitted.

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