Continuing patent application is a patent application which follows, and
claims priority to, an earlier filed patent application.
These types of patent applications include “continuation”, “divisional”,
“continuation in part”, and “reissue”.
A “continuation application” is a patent application filed by an applicant
who wants to pursue additional claims to an invention disclosed in an
earlier application of the applicant (the “parent” application) that has not
yet been issued or abandoned. The continuation uses the same specification
as the pending parent application, claims filing date priority of the
parent, and must name at least one of the same inventors as in the parent.
This type of application is useful when a patent examiner has allowed some
but rejected other claims in an application, or where an applicant may not
have exhausted all useful ways of claiming different embodiments of the
*Divisional applications are generally used in cases where the parent application may lack unity of invention; that is, the parent application describes more than one invention and the applicant is required to split the parent into one or more divisional applications each claiming only a single invention.
*A divisional application need not name any of the inventors named in the parent application.
*This type of application is often the result of a “restriction requirement” by an examiner, because a patent can only claim a single
*An application (also called CIP) that is filed when a new improvement is
conceived after filing of the original application.
*The CIP thus contains the original filed invention and the newly claimed invention, and has atleast one common inventor as named in the parent application.
*This is a convenient way to claim enhancements developed after the parent application was filed.
*Material in common with the earlier application has the original
application’s filing date and new material has the filing date of the CIP.
*If an issued patent is found to be defective, then the patent owner can
surrender the patent and refile the original application to correct the
defect. One such defect is that the issued patent fails to claim the full
scope of the invention. Thus an inventor can resubmit the patent application
with broader claims and attempt to get the full coverage they are entitled
to. They are not, however, allowed to add new features to their invention.
*A reissue application that attempts to get broader coverage than the
original issued patent must be filed within two years from the grant date of
said original issued patent.