The time limit for filing divisional applications in Europe of within 24 months from the issuance of the first office action or from the first communication of a non-unity objection has been removed, upon the entry into effect of the amended Rules 36, 38 and 135 of the Implementing Regulations to the European Patent Convention (EPC) as of 1 April 2014.
With the new rules in force, a European patent application or a Euro-PCT application having entered the European phase can be divided, as long as the earlier European patent application is pending on or after 1 April 2014.
Concurrently, an additional fee is imposed on divisional applications filed in respect of any earlier application which is itself a divisional application, i.e. a divisional application of second or subsequent generation.
The fee is incremental, with a divisional application of the second generation being €210, the third generation €420, the fourth generation €630, and the fifth or any subsequent generation €840.