Patent Citations Reexamined: New Data and Methods

58 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2016 Last revised: 10 Aug 2017

Jeffrey M. Kuhn

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School

Kenneth A. Younge

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL-CDM)

Alan C. Marco

Georgia Institute of Technology - School of Public Policy

Date Written: August 9, 2017

Abstract

Many studies of innovation rely on patent citations to measure intellectual lineage and impact. In this article, we use a vector space model of patent similarity and new data from the USPTO to show that the nature of patent citations has changed dramatically in recent years. Today, far more citations are created per patent, and the mean technological similarity between citing and cited patents has fallen. We link these developments to changes in the data generating process for patent citations. We also demonstrate that data limitations have generated overstated results in several important articles using patent citations.

Keywords: patents, citations, innovation economics, USPTO, examiner, applicant, rejections

JEL Classification: O3, O34

Suggested Citation

Kuhn, Jeffrey M. and Younge, Kenneth A. and Marco, Alan C., Patent Citations Reexamined: New Data and Methods (August 9, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2714954 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2714954

Jeffrey M. Kuhn (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )

McColl Building
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490
United States

Kenneth A. Younge

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL-CDM) ( email )

Station 5
1015 Lausanne
Switzerland

Alan C. Marco

Georgia Institute of Technology - School of Public Policy ( email )

685 Cherry St.
Atlanta, GA 30332-0345
United States

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