Do I have to reference a patent application in my patent if the patent has already been granted? Do I have to reference both the application number and the patent number?

Example: A patent application (Kind Code A1) is published in 2010 and a patent grant (Kind Code B2) issued in 2011.

2 Answers 2


You may cite in your patent application any prior art reference as a duty of disclosure to the PTO. If the reference you are citing is a granted patent, you may state, in your patent application, the name of the inventor(s), patent number, and issue date or you may also state the patent application publication number, and publication date. The reference can be made in an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS). To know more about an IDS and the duty of disclosure, you may refer to: http://www.invntree.com/blogs/duty-of-disclosure-in-a-patent-application


Mentioning a patent or publication number in the body of your application is fulfilling you duty of disclosure, but it does not automatically get the examiner to look at and check off that they looked at it.

The reference should be put on an IDS form. It is set up to have patent number, inventors name and date of publication. Use the first inventor's name, not the initial assignee. Either listing the publication or the patent is sufficient unless you have the very odd situation that the issued patent is missing relevant content that is present in the publication.

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