Under U. S. law, a patent application can only be directed to a single invention. If a patent application contains claims to more than one independent and distinct invention, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may impose on the applicant a restrictive requirement to separate the inventions.
The applicant must then choose an invention for processing on the original application and may submit new divisional applications to claim the other “unchosen” inventions. Restrictions are imposed to maintain the patent classification system, the examination process and to prevent an applicant from submitting an application covering several inventions by paying only for one. When it comes to filing for multiple patents, there are two approaches you can take: the simple approach and the consolidated approach. According to the simple approach, if you have more than one invention, each invention is submitted in a separate application. Basically, this means an invention, a request.
The consolidated approach will reduce your company's assets, as it combines different inventions under the protection of a single patent, thus reducing the number of patents you hold. You can file a single patent application only if the claims in the patent specification relate to a single invention. When filing a patent application, a filing fee, a search fee, and an examination fee must be paid to the patent office.