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What is a continuation application?

During the process of seeking a patent, the patent examiner at the PTO may require changes to the application’s claims (or require that certain claims simply be removed), but not the overall specification. If the inventor has to remove part of some of his claims, he may be able to file those removed parts in a separate application. This new application is called a continuation application, because it is a continuation of that original (or “parent”) application.