As from 1 April 2014 it will be possible, once again, to file a European divisional patent application at any time during the life of the parent application.
The EPO has reversed the rules it introduced a few years ago whereby divisional patent applications could only be filed within two years of the first examination report, or the first time a unity objection was raised.
It should also be noted that under the new arrangement a divisional application can be filed in the period for appeal against a decision to refuse an application, regardless of whether an appeal is actually filed.
For second and subsequent divisional generations, an additional filing fee will be payable. The fee will increase for each subsequent divisional generation.