Continuing Patent Application Law and Legal Definition

A continuing patent application refers to a patent application which claims priority to an earlier filed application. It is a continuation to an earlier application. There are three types of continuing patent applications:

1. continuation application,

2.divisional application, or

3.continuation-in-part application.

Generally in the U.S., continuation and continuation in part applications are available. A continuation application is filed mainly for the purpose of making additional claims to an invention disclosed in an earlier patent application

A continuing patent application is governed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO rules allow an inventor to file as many continuations as necessary to get the desired breadth of claims.

Continuation applications utilize the parent application's disclosure and claim the benefit of the parent application. In order for a continuation application to be granted, on the filing date of the parent application it must:

1. be filed while the parent application is pending,

2. have at least one inventor in common with the parent application, and

3. have claims that are fully supported by the parent application's disclosure.