When I search patents at espacenet.com I see that some patent documents have multiple priority numbers. For example WO2010054132 has 4 priority numbers. (see bibliographic data). What does this mean? Why there is more than 1 priority number?


Good question. I am unaware of any limit on the number of documents on which priority may be claimed.

Sometimes a patent application claims priority to an application that itself claims priority to another patent application.

For example, an inventor could file a provisional application. A non-provisional application could claim priority to the provisional. Later, the inventor could file a continuation-in-part that claims priority to both the provisional and non-provisional.

Here, WO2010054132 lists the following priority documents:

12/612,355 04.11.2009 US

61/112,080 06.11.2008 US

12/612,366 04.11.2009 US

12/612,349 04.11.2009 US

It looks like the earliest claim of priority is to a U.S. provisional filed on June 11, 2008. Three separate U.S. non-provisionals were subsequently filed on April 11, 2009.

12/612,366 appears to have been abandoned; the other non-provisionals appear to be pending.

  • 1
    This is correct. There is no limit. There are some examples of applications claiming priority to more than 100 prior filings. This becomes somewhat confusing. Jan 14 '13 at 20:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.