If I understand correctly USPTO is a "relative novelty" office. There is a grace period of 1 year. Whereas EPO is an "absolute novelty" office. Anything disclosed before filing will be used against you.
Let me explain with some scenarios.
- I file a provisional in Jan 1, 2020.
- I publicly disclose my ideas in Mar 1, 2020 by publishing a paper.
- I file a non-provisional by claiming priority to the provisional on Jun 1, 2020.
- USPTO publishes my application in Sep 1, 2020 due to early publication request.
- I file a continuation-in-part application which discloses some new content on Feb 1, 2021.
- I file another continuation-in-part application which discloses some new content on Apr 1, 2021.
If I understood correctly, the Mar 1, 2020 paper can be used as prior-art against my second CIP application. But not the first CIP due to the 1 year grace period.
How exactly continuation-in-part works in EPO since it's an "absolute novelty" office? Does that mean, it will be really hard to make minor tweaks once your idea is publicly disclosed?
Is there any way one can go for continuation-in-part in EPO with the help of PCT?