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Continuations in part. A continuation in part (“CIP”) is a type of continu ing application that: shares* the priority date of an earlier “parent” application adds information that was not in the parent application yet repeats some substantial portion of the parent's specification

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Continuations in part

A continuation in part (“CIP”) is a type of continuing application that:

  • shares* the priority date of an earlier “parent” application

  • adds information that was not in the parent application

  • yet repeats some substantial portion of the parent's specification

    35 USC 132(a) (no new matter); Rule 53(b)(2) (37 CFR §1.53) (CIPs and other types of continuING applications and their filing dates); MPEP 201.08 (CIPs)

Tim Saulsbury -- Continuations in Part


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Continuing applications generally

  • Acontinuing application is filed

    to pursue additional claims to

    subject matter in a parent application

  • These child applications are often, but not always, filed

    to overcome problems the examiner has with the parent

  • There are 3 types: continuation, divisional and CIP.

    35 USC 132(a); 37 CFR 1.53; MPEP 201.08

Tim Saulsbury -- Continuations in Part


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Possible Reasons for Filing a CIP

  • The applicant needs to amend the specification to satisfy § 112.

    E.g., the Examiner rejected claims in the parent

    for lack of support in the specification,

    then objects to an amendment to the specification because it introduces new matter.

  • After filing, the applicants improved their invention. They can use the priority date of the parent as a shield, at least as to what discloses.

    (But beware of 102b activities by the applicants that involve the NEW MATTER.)

Tim Saulsbury -- Continuations in Part


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Dangers & benefits

  • Dangers:

    • loss of priority date if new matter is necessary to support claims; the priority date of such claims is the CIP date

    • shorter length of patent life if the CIP shares its parent’s priority date

    • cost of filing the continuing application

  • Benefits: the applicant can get claims that are more tailored or cover a wider range of activities by potential infringers

Tim Saulsbury -- Continuations in Part


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