We understand that the Administrative Council (the governing body of the European Patent Office) decided on 16 October 2013 to change the regulations regarding the deadline for filing divisional applications, specifically, to abolish the current 2-year deadlines. 

It appears that, from 1 April 2014, it will once again be possible to file a divisional application right up to the day before grant of the parent application.  We understand that the new rule will apply to all applications that are pending on or after 1 April 2014, even if a deadline for filing divisional applications under the current regulations had already been set or indeed had passed.  Thus, for many applications, the “window” for filing divisional applications will re-open.

There is likely to be an additional filing fee for second and subsequent generation divisional applications (i.e. divisionals of an application that is already a divisional application). 

The EPO has not yet officially announced the rule change.  As soon as more information becomes available, we will provide an update here.