What is a Priority Date, and What Does It Mean to “Maintain Pendency”?
A priority date is the earliest filing date for the subject matter that is disclosed in a patent application.
If you file a provisional patent application on date X, and then file a utility patent application on date Y, then anything in the utility patent application that was in the provisional patent application will be treated as if it were filed on date X.
You can also file additional patent applications having the same subject matter as the earlier patent applications and continue to have the priority date X as long as you maintain pendency. That just means that you need to file this new patent application before the last one is abandoned or issues into a patent. If you allow the last remaining patent application to either go abandoned or get issued, then you will have lost pendency.
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