I've found an allowed continuation to a parent patent application, in which the continuation contains a single claim that appears to be one long concatenation of the original 20 claims of the parent application.

Why would a corporation file such a continuation?

Here is a link to the continuation: US Patent Application 20180227119 (continuation)
And here is a link to the patent: US Patent Application 20180227119 (patent)

  • Could you provide the two patent numbers?
    – Eric S
    Aug 17 '18 at 13:59
  • 15/851879 which is a continuation of 15/429121 Aug 17 '18 at 14:41
  • Embedding links in your question makes it much more convenient for people to answer your question.
    – Eric S
    Aug 17 '18 at 14:44
  • I didn't think the actual two applications were relevant. The later has one claim, which is the 20 claims of the parent combined into a single claim. Presumably there was a reason to do this, that is unrelated to the actual content of the patent applications, and there is some general principle or intention at play. But I will update the question to include the links. Aug 17 '18 at 15:27
  • This might come down to guessing.
    – DonQuiKong
    Aug 17 '18 at 22:40

They did it to get one narrow patent issued early while continuing to fight for a broader patent. The continuation application (15/851,879) was filed with the narrowest claim and filed with an optional costly process that provides accelerated examination. IBM got a notice of allowance on the continuation but the parent (15/429,121) application is still pending. To follow the details on a pending patent application use the USPTO's Public PAIR.

  • Very useful explanation, thanks. I would like to ask a very related question. Maybe best as a stand alone but i'll try here first: I've been told that having an ongoing continuation application on an open submission is often desirable, and increases the value of the patent, should one seek early sale. What would be an ideal strategy to maximize flexibility and value of a submission? Maybe design it so that some aspects can be added in a follow-up continuation application, that would leave open doors for possibly needed fixups?
    – Pa_
    Jul 15 at 20:40
  • one more thing about this: by googling, i found an article claiming that "In some cases, your patent attorney may recommend filing your continuation application with a request for deferred examination.", without explaining why. What would be the advantage of such setup?
    – Pa_
    Jul 15 at 22:49
  • 1
    Please add a new question about continuation applications.
    – George White
    Jul 16 at 0:30

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