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What is a continuation patent application?

Under United States patent practice, a continuation patent application is an application which claims priority from a
previously filed application. A continuation application is usually filed when the Patent Office has responded to the
parent application with a “final” office action (rejecting the claims in the application), but the applicant wishes to
revise the claims again. A continuation application receives the priority date of its parent application. A
continuation application is often filed using the file wrapper continuation (FWC) administrative procedure. A related
type of patent application is the continuation-in-part (CIP) application.
Under GATT, if the rejected application was filed prior to June 8, 1995, there is a disadvantage to filing a
continuation application since the result may be a shorter patent term. One option, if the filing date of the rejected
application is prior to June 8, 1993, is to use a rule under GATT in which the applicant pays a fee (equal to the cost of a new filing fee) to have the finality of the rejection withdrawn.