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I know that when I file a patent application, a research will be done on novelty. This research covers (theoretically) all known publications, existing patents and applications up to the date of filing.

However, does it also includes patent applications that are yet unpublished? I assume not, because then an inventor gets notified of unpublished patents.

But does this imply that an inventor can file multiple applications that are based on the same innovative thought? For example: suppose I invented a new type of measurement system and filed a patent application. After a couple of months I discovered an even further improved system that is not covered by the "old" application. Filing a new one may be rejected because technically it only differs a little. But if the old application is not included in the research it will not pose a problem.

  • Theoretically, if your new discovery is new but not non-obvious after the filing of the first, it will not be get the status of an invention. But you can file continual in part application before the first application is issued. – user2174870 Nov 24 '14 at 3:54
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For improvement over a patent pending product or process, you may go ahead with filing Continuation-In-Part Application (CIP, under the US patent system) during the pendency (before issuance or abandonment) of the earlier filed patent application (parent application). CIP application is mainly filed in situations where a patent application (parent application) has been filed for an invention, and where another related invention, which may be a variation of the earlier filed patent application, is later developed, but the variation may not be distinct or inventive enough to qualify for an independent patent in light of the earlier filed parent application. The parent patent application may not be used as prior art for the CIP application. For more details on CIP applications you may visit the link provided below. http://www.invntree.com/blogs/patent-protection-for-improvements-made-over-your-previously-filed-patent-application

  • This is not true in the U.S.: "The parent patent application may not be used as prior art for the CIP application." There are situations where the parent is prior art to a CIP. – Jeff O'Neill Apr 1 '16 at 20:46
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I believe you got the concept wrong and right both ways. if patent application is filed in same patent office then unpublished application also gets a cite as prior art. one of the earlier answer clearly states if your later application is not a type of CIP you will get a trouble. Now if your earlier application is in country X and not published then in country Y you can file patent application and it will not get a prior cite as patent offices are different. keep in mind that if you take PCT or direct convention application entry in country X your prior application will be cited against new application provided it was not abandoned(withdrawan) before publication. NOTE:- you loose earlier priority in such methods.

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