General. The following hypothetical examples teach this concept:
Hypothetical Example No. 1. Abraham filed a second patent application that met the requirements for being a continuing application of an earlier-filed application with respect to a particular invention. The effective filing date of the second application is the filing date of the earlier-filed application.
Hypothetical Example No. 2. Amelia filed twenty-three divisional applications in order to claim non-elected inventions that were described and disclosed in an earlier-filed application. The effective filing date of each of the twenty-three applications is the filing date of the earlier-filed application.
Hypothetical Example No. 3. Nikola filed a second patent application one day after his first application issued as a patent. The effective filing date of the second application is its actual filing date.
Hypothetical Example No. 4. Kate filed a third patent application that she hoped was a continuation of a sequence of a second and a first patent application. In the third application, she claimed an invention that was disclosed in a first application that was copending with (pending during a period of time that overlapped one day with the pendancy of) the second application and that was disclosed in the second application. Neither the first nor second application described the invention (in fact, because Kate did not realize it was her invention until she decided to file the third application). The effective date of the third application is its actual filing date because neither of the alleged "parent" applications met the description requirement of 35 U.S.C. 112.
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