In-Text Patent Citations: A User's Guide

51 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2019

See all articles by Kevin Bryan

Kevin Bryan

University of Toronto - Strategic Management

Bhaven N. Sampat

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health

Date Written: April 2019

Abstract

We introduce, validate, and provide a public database of a new measure of the knowledge inventors draw on: scientific references in patent specifications. These references are common and algorithmically extractable. Critically, they are very different from the “front page” prior art commonly used to proxy for inventor knowledge. Only 24% of front page citations to academic articles are in the patent text, and 31% of in-text citations are on the front page. We explain these differences by describing the legal rules and practice governing citation. Empirical validations suggest that in-text citations appear to more accurately measure real knowledge flows, consistent with their legal role.

Suggested Citation

Bryan, Kevin and Sampat, Bhaven N., In-Text Patent Citations: A User's Guide (April 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25742. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3372038

Kevin Bryan (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Strategic Management ( email )

Canada

Bhaven N. Sampat

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health ( email )

600 West 168th St. 6th Floor
New York, NY 10032
United States

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