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T 2439/09

New regulations to come at the EPO and other useful news

(November 2013)


1. New regulations to come


1.1 New Rule 164


Clarifies what to expect with further searches if the EPO considers that the application documents which are to serve as the basis for the supplementary European search do not comply with the requirement of unity of invention.


Shall enter into force on 1 November 2014


One can expect some notice to be further published.


1.2 Rule 36(1)

The applicant may file a divisional application relating to any pending earlier European patent application.

The 24 months deadline will be suppressed.

Shall enter into force on 1 April 2014


1.3 Rule 38

A new paragraph 4 will be added: “The Rules relating to Fees may provide for an additional fee as part of the filing fee in the case of a divisional application filed in respect of any earlier application which is itself a divisional application.”

It introduces a new filling fee to avoid second and subsequent generations of divisional applications


Shall enter into force on 1 April 2014


1.4 New Rule 135(2) - Warning : Rule 135 will be modified twice


Will exclude the periods referred to in the new Rule 164(1) and the new Rule 164(2), and will no longer refer to Rule 36(1).


Shall enter into force on 1 April 2014 (CA/D 15/13)

(Exclusion of the reference to Rule 36(1))


Shall enter into force on 1 November 2014 (CA/D 17/13)

(Exclusion of the periods referred to in the new Rule 164(1) and the new Rule 164(2))



2. Notices


2.1  Association of representatives

Relates to R 152(10) and R 152(11)


3. The OJ October 2013 has been published, main information are


3.1 Case G 1/13 (Enlarged Board of Appeal) : an opposition is filed by a company which is dissolved before the Opposition Division issues a decision maintaining the opposed patent in amended form, but that company is subsequently restored to the register of companies under a provision of the national law governing the company

Third parties may file written statements with regards to that case



3.2 The President of the European Patent Office has decided that, having regard to the potential impact of the two referrals G 2/12 and G 2/13, all substantive proceedings before the EPO first-instance departments (examining and opposition divisions) where the decision depends entirely on the outcome of the Enlarged Board of Appeal's decision will be stayed ex officio until the Enlarged Board of Appeal issues its decision. Search proceedings will not be affected.