1. Whether a divisional application can be changed in terms of the application type? 

The category of a divisional application should be the same as that of the initial application. That is, a divisional application cannot be changed in terms of the application type with respect to the initial application. For example, if the initial application is an application of invention, the divisional application should also be an application of invention and its type cannot be changed to utility model. 

2. When can a divisional application be filed? 

In general, a divisional application can be filed before the initial application has been closed. Specifically, a divisional application can be filed before the expiration of two months from the date of receiving the notification to grant patent right to the initial application issued by the Patent Office (i.e., the time limit for going through the formalities of registration). 

With regard to the initial application to which the examiner has issued the decision of rejection, the applicant may file a divisional application within three months from the date that the applicant receives the decision of rejection regardless of whether the applicant requests for reexamination or not. After requesting for reexamination or within three months from receiving the reexamination decision or during the initiation of the administrative litigation against the reexamination decision, the applicant may also file a divisional application.

With regard to the patent application that has been withdrawn voluntarily by the applicant or is deemed to have been withdrawn, no divisional application should be filed.

3. Whether a divisional application must be filed aiming at the unity defect? 

A divisional application can be filed not aiming at the unity defect. In fact, the applicant may file a divisional application for any technical solution recorded in the initial application. With regard to the rejected initial application, if the applicant does not file request for reexamination, there will be a chance to acquire a different conclusion of examination by filing a divisional application, although this possibility is relatively small. Furthermore, with regard to the case that the application is in substantive examination stage or after receiving the notification to grant patent right but before the expiration of the time limit for going through the formalities of registration, or the case that the applicant is not satisfied with the reexamination decision and considers amending the application document, the applicant can get a chance for voluntarily amendment by filing a divisional application.

4. For the initial application based on which a divisional application has been filed, whether another divisional application can be filed? 

Whether another divisional application can be filed is also determined from whether the initial application has been closed. Another divisional application can be filed if the initial application has not been closed, otherwise, generally no divisional application can be filed. 

However, there is an exception. Although the initial application has been closed, if the divisional application has unity defect, the applicant may file another divisional application according to the Office Action made by the examiner. 

5. Whether a divisional application can be changed in terms of its applicant and inventor?

A divisional application can be changed in terms of the applicant with respect to the initial application, but a document certifying the change of the applicant should be submitted. A divisional application cannot be changed in terms of the inventor with respect to the initial application, and the inventor of a divisional application should be all of the inventors or part of the inventors of the initial application.

6. Whether a divisional application must be submitted together with the request for substantive examination? 

A divisional application may not be submitted together with the request for substantive examination. The time limit for filing the request for substantive examination of a divisional application is three years from the filing date (priority date) of the initial application, if the above time limit of three years have expired, or are less than two months from the submission date of the divisional application to the date of expiration, when the divisional application is submitted, the applicant may file the request for substantive examination within two months from the submission date of the divisional application, or within fifteen days from the date of receipt the Notification of Acceptance.