Patent Citations Reexamined
40 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2016 Last revised: 18 Jul 2019
Date Written: June 24, 2019
Many studies rely on patent citations to measure intellectual heritage and impact. In this article, we show that the nature of patent citations has changed dramatically in recent years. Today, a small minority of patent applications are generating a large majority of patent citations, and the mean technological similarity between citing and cited patents has fallen considerably. We replicate several well-known studies in industrial organization and innovation economics and demonstrate how generalized assumptions about the nature of patent citations have misled the field.
Keywords: patents, citations, innovation economics, USPTO, examiner, applicant, rejections
JEL Classification: O3, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation