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A patent application that I filed in June 2010 was published in February 2012. It issued as a patent in October 2013.

I would like to claim an element disclosed in the specification in February 2014.

a. Is there any way of claiming the element now?

b. Can I reopen the prosecution and amend the independent claim with the element?

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As best as I can understand your question, it seems you may have made an error by claiming either too broadly or too narrowly. You might want to consider pursuing a reissue application. See MPEP Chapter 1400 ==> http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/mpep-1400.html.

In the future, ideally, you should file a continuation patent application prior to issuance of a patent. This allows you to continue to mine the specification for additional claims.

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  • "in the future"? Is there any reason that he cannot file a continuation patent now?
    – Soren
    Jul 24, 2014 at 20:38
  • Yes, in order to file a continuation patent application codependency must be maintained. Once the patent issues, there is no codependency and a continuation patent application can no longer be filed.
    – Phoenix88
    Aug 24, 2015 at 22:51
  • So that is so much more an argument for filling sooner than later.
    – Soren
    Aug 25, 2015 at 3:50

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