If yes then what is the difference?
A researcher can quickly find difference in both patent applications by comparing both documents one to one. For this researcher can take help of WORD processing document MS office 2010 and above with feature to compare document.
Steps would include:-
- Create word file of the document text. preferably from USPTO website.
- Open word document use Review Pane, Compare document feature.
- select documents in pop-up window.
- In advance level select character level tracking.
Limitation wont work with Images, Tables, wrongly created word documents.
e.g for queried patent:-
Patents can be grouped by "families". Typically, an inventor files a parent application and then continuations are filed based on that parent. The patent family you reference has about a dozen members (Apple apparently owns it, and they can afford many continuations). You can see the relationships by going to http://portal.uspto.gov and using "Public PAIR", then clicking on the Continuity tab.
The differences between patents in the same family (with some exceptions, like continuations in part) are typically in the claims only. In some cases, the title or abstract will change as well. But unless you regularly work with patents and know what to look for, patents in the same family will look at first glance to be identical. Sometimes the patent office itself finds the claims to be close in meaning to each other and they refuse to allow the application based on something called a "non-statutory double patenting rejection". Even though the inventor may not agree with this determination, typically the inventor will agree to file something called a "terminal disclaimer", which overcomes that rejection.
Short answer: Patents in the same family are essentially identical except for the part that can be enforced in court: The claims.