This series includes a discussion of the most common types of patent applications used in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This first entry is simply a summary of the different application types. Later entries for this series will include a discussion of each type, its general purpose and strategies for its use.
Provisional Application: Possible Extra Step to Utility Patent for Earlier Priority
Design Patent Application: Protects Look, not Function
Utility Patent Applications: Protects Function and Composition, not the Look
Continuation App: Same Disclosure as Parent, Different Claims
Divisional App: Same Disclosure as Parent, Restricted Claims
Continuation-in-Part App: Part Different Disclosure from Parent, Different Claims
Request for Continued Examination: Continues Prosecution of Rejected Claims
Reexamination Application: Filed When there is a Question of Claim Validity
Reissue Application: Filed When Different Claims are Wanted from an issued patent (must file w/in 2 years to broaden)
There are strategic uses for each of these different applications. Understanding the purpose and use for each one can be a significant advantage in a company’s overall intellectual property strategy.