Following the recent announcement by the European Patent Office (EPO) that the rules regarding the filing of divisional applications will change from 1 April 2014, there has been much discussion about the additional fee (new Rule 38(4) EPC) which will be levied by the EPO on second and later generation divisional applications. Although no official announcement has been made, it is understood that the EPO's Budget & Finance Committee has been considering the following proposal for the additional fee:
- 2nd generation divisional applications: EUR200
- 3rd generation divisional applications: EUR400
- 4th and later generation divisional applications: EUR800
An official announcement from the EPO is keenly awaited, and it is expected that a formal decision will be made at the Administrative Council meeting on 12 and 13 December 2013.
In view of the additional fee, applicants who wish to file second and/or later generation divisional applications from cases in which the divisional deadline is currently pending should consider filing those divisional applications before 1 April 2014 in order to avoid having to pay the additional fee.