How to Cross-Refer an Application in Patent Application

Generally, cross-references to any application(s) are included in the “Cross-Reference” section of the current patent application. It is generally mandatory that the first sentence of the specification contains a reference to each such prior application to obtain the benefit of the priority of prior-filed application(s). Also, it is advised to refer to any co-pending applications that are related to the application being filed in the said section.

How to Cross-Refer an Application

Cross-referred applications may include related applications, such as any parent applications from which priority is claimed, including any sister applications, such as divisional applications.

An exemplary cross-reference section may look something like below:

The present application is a division of my application serial number ___________ filed ___________, entitled “_________________,” currently [pending/granted]; which is a continuation of my application serial number ___________ filed ___________, [now abandoned]; which is a continuation in part of my [U.S.] Patent Number ___________ filed ___________, which claims the benefit of Provisional Application Number ___________ filed ___________.”

From the above example, it may be understood that many possible variations of the statement are possible, and the statement may be tweaked based on the present requirements of priority claiming.

Further, in some cases, the applicant/attorney may wish to incorporate some co-related application(s) (for example, a patent application, a divisional application, etc.) by reference, such that the subject matter of the incorporated application becomes a part of the present application. For such purposes, the following statement may be considered to be included in the “Cross-Reference” section of the current patent application.

“The present application is related to co-pending application serial number _____________ filed [on the same date] as the present application by inventor _____________. All of these applications and the patent are incorporated herein by reference, including their specifications.

Sometimes, the patent office may consider the application(s) referred to in the “Cross-Reference” section as prior art. To avoid that, it is recommended to include the statement as below:

“. . . which is not admitted to be prior art with respect to the present invention by its mention in the cross-reference section.”

As said earlier, the above listed exemplary statements broadly cover various ways to cross-refer any prior application(s) in a current patent application; however, the given statement(s) may need to be tweaked a bit to address the particular requirements of the present case.

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