Silly question:

I submitted a PPA with my paragraphs numbered in the style [0001], [0002], etc.

Now, I'm submitting a regular patent application claiming the benefit of the PPA. This means I'm adding a section titled "CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS". This adds one paragraph to the top of my specification.

Should I renumber the paragraphs so that the paragraph in the "CROSS REFERENCE..." section starts with [0001]? (The paragraph numbers in the PPA won't match up with the regular PA anymore.)

Or should I not number it at all? (The paragraph numbers in the PPA will match up with the regular PA.)

Or should I number it with [0000]? (The paragraph numbers in the PPA will match up with the regular PA.)

1 Answer 1


The paragraph numbering is conventional but not required. I usually use line numbering with every 5th line numbered because it is easier in Word than the recommend [000]. None of this is required. Either renumbering, using 0000 for the new first paragraph, or removing them all is fine.

The more important issue is why your non-provisional is paragraph-by-paragraph the same as the provisional. Usually an inventor comes up with modifications, improvements, alternate embodiments, better explanations and better drawings during the time between provisional and non-provisonal. Make the non-provisonal as good as it can be without regard for the provisional's format or content. You only get there date of the provisional for the content of the provisional but you get no date and no protection for the things you thought of but didn't put in the non-provisonal.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. If I add more embodiments to the non-provisional, do I get two filing dates? One for the content of the provisional and another for the additional content in the non-provisional?
    – eex
    May 6, 2014 at 3:04
  • Yes - the mechanics of it are that the examiner looks at the non-provisonal with its actual filing date in mind. If a strong reference is found that is between the two dates the examiner will use it in a rejection. Then your response is - "go look at the provisonal, it adequately covers the specific thing the reference was being used for". If so, the reference is disqualified from being used against you.
    – George White
    May 6, 2014 at 5:15

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