Can I use the transmittal letter of a continuation or divisional application to amend the first sentence of the specification to add the benefit claim to the parent application?
No, a preliminary amendment cannot be made in a transmittal letter or form for the filing of an application. The amendment to the specification that adds the specific reference to the parent application in the first sentence of the specification following the title must be provided on a separate sheet of paper in compliance with revised 37 CFR 1.121. Applicant may wish to provide the specific reference in an application data sheet (ADS) under 37 CFR 1.76 or in a new specification instead of filing a copy of the specification of the parent application with a preliminary amendment. The Office transmittal forms will no longer permit any preliminary amendment to be made in the transmittal form. If applicants are using a transmittal form that provides a box for a preliminary amendment, applicants are advised not to use such box, but to provide the preliminary amendment on a separate sheet of paper in compliance with revised 37 CFR 1.121.