Patent Glossary C

The patent glossary C for the C words. What does comprising mean? Continuation-in-part?


canceled claim

A claim that is canceled or deleted. "Canceled" is the status identifier that should be used when a claim is canceled in an application

certificate of correction

Issued upon patentee request due to a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or applicant minor error in the patent such as printing, typographical, or clerical errors.

Chapter I

The first, mandatory phase under the Patent Cooperation Treaty that includes performance of an international-type search, issuance of an International Search Report, and publication of the application and Search Report by the International Bureau of WIPO

Chapter II

The second, optional phase under the Patent Cooperation Treaty that includes examination of the international application and issuance of an International Preliminary Examination Report.


A claim is one of the numbered paragraphs that appear at the end of a patent and defines the scope of protection given to the owner of the patent (i.e., the right to prevent others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the claimed invention). Each claim is treated separately for purposes of determining validity and infringement. For example, claims may be directed toward apparatus, methods, products, and compositions of matter and new and useful improvements thereof.


A transition phrase immediately following the preamble of a claim. The word "comprising" in a claim renders the claim open, which means that additional elements could be added to the accused infringing device without avoiding infringement. For example, if a claim began "A chair comprising three legs" then a chair having four legs would infringe. For other transition phrases see "consisting of" and "consisting essentially of".

continuation application

This is a patent application directed toward the same invention as a prior application and filed while the prior application is pending, naming the same inventive entity. The continuation application is given the benefit of the earlier filing date of the application on which it is based.


An application filed during the lifetime of an earlier nonprovisional application, repeating some substantial portion or all of the earlier non provisional application and adding matter not disclosed in the earlier nonprovisional application. A CIP need not name the identical inventive entity.
-- see MPEP 201.08 for more

contributory infringement

This involves someone supplying a component that is a material part of a product, apparatus, composition of matter, or process with knowledge that it is uniquely adapted for use in infringing a patent and is not a staple article of commerce suitable for substantial non-infringing use. Such person can be held liable as a contributory infringer if an infringement results.


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