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As we all know the EPO recently changed its procedure in front of first-instance departments such that handwritten amendments are no longer accepted in documents replacing parts of the European patent application. As well as written communications this change also applies to amendments made during oral proceedings and during oppositions.
As you will have seen in previous posts, IPCopy has been tracking the progress of the latest referral to the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal which concerns the scope to which clarity under Article 84 EPC can be raised in post grant proceedings. The Decision of the Technical Board of Appeal 3.2.08 in the case in question (T0373/12, on EP1814480) was published online late last week.
As noted earlier on IPcopy, Rule 36 EPC, which was amended in 2010 to introduce 24 month time limits for filing divisional European patent applications from a parent European patent application, is to be amended from 1 April 2014 such that the 24 month deadline rule is removed and the procedure reverts back to the pre-April 2010 arrangements. As well as the change to Rule 36 EPC, an amendment to Rule 38 was proposed to 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”.
Administrative Council decision of 13 December 2013 (here) has been published on the EPO website and, as well as detailing other fee changes due to come into effect on 1 April 2014, confirms the level of the additional fee that will be payable on 2nd and higher generation divisional applications from 1 April 2014. The full list of additional fees for divisional applications, which ranges from 210 Euros to 840 Euros, is noted below
Last week IPcopy had the pleasure of attending the annual meeting of AIPLA in Washington. As well as listening to some of the hot issues of the day on the US side of the pond (section 101/patent eligibility and non-practising entities in particular – see our earlier post here) we also got the chance to get some US practitioner’s thoughts on the European patent landscape.
What follows below therefore are some European developments that may be of interest to our US colleagues. (more…)
As noted earlier on IPcopy, Rule 36 EPC, which was amended in 2010 to introduce 24 month time limits for filing divisional European patent applications from a parent European patent application, was made the subject of an EPO consultation. The consultation closed on 5 April 2013 but the EPO website has not yet been updated with any details of the responses received.
However, a number of sources (1, 2, 3) are now reporting that Rule 36 is to be amended from 1 April 2014 such that the 24 month deadline rule is removed and the procedure reverts back to the pre-April 2010 arrangements. So far there has been no official announcement from the EPO.
Rule 36 EPC was amended in 2010 to introduce 24 month time limits for filing divisional European patent applications from a parent European patent application. One purpose of the rule amendment was to address the issue of precautionary divisional filings that were filed to avoid adverse decisions.
An online consultation, with a closing date of 5 April 2013, recently popped up on the EPO’s website (here) announcing that the EPO is going to take another look at Rule 36 EPC and the time limits for filing divisional applications.
As noted in Emily Weal’s earlier post on the subject (see here) patent applicants will still have the option of opting out of the unitary patent package if desired and applying for direct national patents.
A note of caution was sounded in the earlier post highlighting that not all of the 25 European countries that are part of the unitary patent package permit national phase entry from a PCT application.
In this post we take a closer look at which countries you need to keep an eye on.