Out of Sight: Patents that Have Never Been Cited

Scientometrics (forthcoming 2021), submission draft

43 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2019 Last revised: 31 Dec 2020

See all articles by Neil Gandal

Neil Gandal

Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Michal Shur-Ofry

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law

Michael Crystal

Tel Aviv University

Royee Shilony

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, School of Law, Students

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 15, 2020

Abstract

Patent citations have become an acceptable proxy for inventions’ quality. Our study offers the first systematic exploration of uncited patents. Analyzing data on all US patents issued between 1976 and 2008, we examine the ratio of uncited patents out of all patents granted each year. We find a robust pattern, consistent across technological fields, whereby the percentage of uncited patents declined between 1976 and the mid-1990s, but has been significantly increasing since then. We discuss policy implications of these findings and suggest that the ratio of uncited patents can serve as a complementary measure for evaluating the patent system.

Keywords: Uncited Patents; Patents; Patent Citations; Patent Quality; Innovation; Networks; Big Data; Negative Knowledge

JEL Classification: O3, O34

Suggested Citation

Gandal, Neil and Shur-Ofry, Michal and Crystal, Michael and Shilony, Royee, Out of Sight: Patents that Have Never Been Cited (May 15, 2020). Scientometrics (forthcoming 2021), submission draft, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3420061 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3420061

Neil Gandal (Contact Author)

Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University ( email )

Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 9907 (Phone)
+972 3 640 9908 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.neilgandal.com/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Michal Shur-Ofry

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel

Michael Crystal

Tel Aviv University ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel-Aviv, 6997801
Israel

Royee Shilony

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, School of Law, Students ( email )

Jerusalem
Israel

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