1. What You Can Do If You File a Foreign Application Within the Priority Year?
2. Priority Date
3. Filing Date
4. Claim of Priority
5. Continuation Patent Application

A priority patent application means that an application you filed at a later time is looked at as being filed when the first one was filed. The priority date is the date you filed the first application. If you wish to ask for priority based on a prior application, you need to do this within four months of the new application's filing date or within 16 months of the date of priority or within depending on which one is later.

What You Can Do If You File a Foreign Application Within the Priority Year?

You'll need to know the following information if you decide to file your foreign application during the priority years:

  • Postpone spending money and time on foreign patents until a report is received of the invention's patentability.
  • Make the invention public once the first patent application is filed while not destroying the novelty value internationally.
  • Keep the novelty value regardless if another person applied the patent to a similar or the same invention during the priority date and the filing date abroad.

Priority Date

The priority date for a patent application is the specific date that controls any previous art that affects if a statutory bar applies and its patentability. This date is often when the patent office received the patent application. Sometimes the patent application will have a priority date that's earlier than the filing date. This includes a divisional or continuation application has a filing date which is divisional or a continuation.

Another instance is an application that has priority according to the Paris Convention due to the counterpart application being filed less than a year ago in a different country. This application will have a priority date that's equivalent to an earlier application. An application can also have a priority date due to the virtue of it being a national-phase application coming out of a patent application where the United States was designated.

Filing Date

The filing date is the date when the further application was filed in a specific territory or country. The maximum validity starts from this date and extends for 20 years. The grant date of the patent is when the official body gives out the patent. A European patent may be granted within a two year period, but can also take longer. Some cases can take up to ten years, although these are exceptions.

Claim of Priority

The claim of priority lets the application that's filed later have a priority date that's the filing date of a patent application that was filed earlier. This isn't the actual filing date of the patent application that was filed later. If this application gets rejected due to an intervening prior art that's dated between filings of the earlier-filed patent applications and the later-filed ones, the intervening reference is eliminated due to the claim of priority. This can determine the difference of a patent application getting rejected or allowed.

Having a claim of priority doesn't give the patent application that was later filed a benefit over the previously filed application based on everything that was disclosed or described in the patent application that was later filed. However, only the items that are mentioned in both patent applications get a priority date for the patent application that was filed earlier.

Continuation Patent Application

A continuation patent application is when the original patent specification is refiled for the patent application that has claims about an identical invention. Refiling the initial specification of the patent application that was filed earlier is a divisional patent application and is related to a different part of the invention. An application that's continuation in part refiles the initial patent specification and incorporates the new parts of the invention with claims specifically about the unique features.

In a divisional or continuation patent application, a claim of priority gets the priority date of the patent application that was filed earlier since they have an identical specification. Regarding continuation for a part application, the patent application filed later gets the earlier priority date for the common subject matter only. This doesn't refer to any new features, and these new features have effective filing dates that are the same as the filing date for the continuation.

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