Amendments to Rules 36, 38, and 135 of European Patent Convention (EPC) are set to come into effect from 1-4-2014. It will enable the filing of divisional applications before EPO as long as the earlier (parent) application is pending. The new provisions will apply to divisional applications filed on or after 1-4-2014. Currently there is a twenty-four month time limit for filing divisional application. This is being repealed.
The current provisions were brought in, in 2010 amidst various objections including, the plea that stringent timeline would force applicants to file divisional applications more as a matter of caution so as to be within the timeframe rather than out of necessity.