On November 10, 2015, when the first Expandiverse patent was issued it was already cited more than 290 times by subsequent patents. Here are some of the companies that cited this new patent immediately, even before it issued:
(A patent citation is a later patent, or patent application, that cites this patent or its patent application.)
Within months the number of patent citations grew above 500:
These citations included over 100 patents from 8 of the 10 biggest tech companies in the world: Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Oracle and Hon Hai (Foxconn).
What does this mean?
The average patent has just 3 to 6 citations. This new Expandiverse Technology was receiving an extraordinary number of citations for a new invention — especially with so many cites from the world’s biggest tech companies.
Why is this important?
Three quantitative studies show patent citations as an indicator of value, importance and use
Journal research into millions of patent citations
According to “Market Value and Patent Citations:” Patent “citations indicate the extent to which those innovations turn out to be ‘important’ and hence presumably more valuable” (p. 17). Published in the Rand Journal of Economics, this quantitative research studied millions of patents issued over decades to 2004. It reports:
- The mean number of citations per patent is three. (p. 32)
- Only a few dozen (out of millions of patents) receive 100 citations. (p. 25)
- Just four patents received more than 200 citations. (p. 15)
- Firms with 20 citations and more “command a staggering 54% market value premium.” (p. 4)
Citations are a quantitative indicator of strong emerging technology:
A different kind of indicator of patent citations was calculated in “Prediction of Emerging Technologies Based on Analysis of the U.S. Patent Citation Network,” published in the quantitative journal Scientometrics.
The authors said, “A predictor, called the citation vector, is defined for characterizing technological development to show how a patent cited by other patents belongs to various industrial fields. The clustering technique adopted is able to detect the new emerging recombinations, and predicts emerging new technology clusters.” (emphasis added)
Patent citations are the best metric for usefulness:
The value of patent citations is confirmed by “Finding the Best Patents – Forward Citation Analysis Still Wins.“ The ROL Group’s Patent Ranking System used quantitative research to determine patent citations as the primary factor for identifying whether a patent is most useful or least useful. They explain:
“We believe that forward citations are a proxy for industry-wide R&D investment in a technology area. With more investment, there are generally more products. With more products, there is a higher chance of infringement. Infringement drives value and most likely meets a client’s needs. Specifically, a purchase either eliminates the client’s own infringement or provides a tool to use against someone else.”
The ROL Group calculated the primacy of patent citations by analyzing four relevant data:
- All issued patents from 2005-2014
- Litigated patents from the same period
- Patents sold by brokers from 2009-2014
- Patents from brokered packages of patents.
They emphasized the importance of patent citations in these two quantitative infringement metrics:
“The results were striking; the sold… patents had exponentially more forward citations… there was evidence of significantly higher forward citations in the set of litigated patents.”
How are patent citations used by Intellectual Property professionals?
The above conclusions are from two quantitative researchers and an IP services firm that develops and sells quantitative IP analyses.
How do working IP professionals use patent citations in their work?
“Using Patent Citations as an Effective Tool While Conducting Prior Art Search“ describes three of the five reasons patent citations are an essential part of prior art search strategies:
Identify a technology trend:
“Patent citations are one of the best sources to track the flow of innovation in a particular field of technology… citations help in recognizing trends in technology and innovation… It is also possible to identify seminal patents by analysing patent citations, among other factors. A seminal patent covers an invention which is considered to be so important that it creates a technological shift in a particular field of technology. A patent having a relatively large number of forward citations when compared to other patents in its field may be a seminal patent.”
Assess a patent’s commercial value:
“A variety of situations may require a market value to be estimated for patents. As an example, patent valuation may be required when a patent owner is looking for investors or manufacturers, in case of company takeovers, or during the buying/licensing of patents… It is generally accepted that a patent having numerous forward citations may turn out to be more valuable when compared to patents with fewer forward citations. This is because, having many forward citations means that the technology disclosed by the patent was used by many other inventors in subsequent developmental efforts, resulting in various new innovations that have their roots in this patent, thereby increasing the value of the patent.“
Mitigate infringement risks:
“Freedom to operate studies are conducted to identify patents that might have the potential of being infringed by a product/process. In case patents that may adversely impact the freedom to operate are identified… there is a likelihood that claims of such citations may also be relevant in assessing freedom to operate.”
“Mapping” the Expandiverse patent citation network
As of October 2016, the 500+ Expandiverse patent citations cluster into four major categories:
- Software and Apps (top left)
- Services (top right)
- Manufacturers (bottom left)
- Devices, Games and Virtual Reality (bottom right)
- Foreign Citations (bottom center)
In addition, breakouts by specific industries can be done, like this one from the Supply Chain:
Is Expandiverse Technology recognized globally?
The new discovery: Most worldwide citations are missing from the Google Patent page for the Expandiverse patent application, which lists the largest number of citations. On this page’s 520+ U.S. citations, only a small number are “WO” (international) citations.
For example, a recent week’s new citations report shows the majority of new citations are outside the United States. From the April 24, 2016, weekly report:
- Number of new citations: 7 citations
- Number of new international citations: 4 of 7 citations
- Major companies that cited this technology again last week: Apple, Google, Samsung and Huawei (Chinese; world’s largest telecommunications company).
Of the four new international citations:
- Citations in 2 filings in China:
- Samsung Electronics Co. LTD: CN105518616 A (20160420)
- Huawei Tech Co. LTD: CN105517023 A (20160420)
- Citation in a patent filed in Europe and globally:
- Apple Inc.: EP3008565 A1 (20160420), WO2014/200733 (153(3)EPC)
- Citation in a patent filed in Germany:
- Applicants include Lockheed Corp, Deal Magic Inc., and Savi Networks LLC: DE602010020817 D1 (20150115)
So far, 6 months of weekly patent citation reports reports over 60 international patent citations:
- 61 Total worldwide patent citations (outside the USA)
- 23 Asian patent citations
- 22 European patent citations:
- 10 Worldwide (PCT filings)
- 6 Canada (other N. America)
This triggers new questions:
- Does Expandiverse technology already have international recognition and value?
- What is the full worldwide evidence for the value, importance and usefulness of Expandiverse Technology?
Image credit: Dan Abelow. All logos and trademarks are owned by their respective owners.