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Does it matter where patent citations come from? Inventor vs. examiner citations in European patents

  • Criscuolo, Paola
  • Verspagen, Bart

This paper addresses the question of whether patent citations are useful indicators of technology flows. We exploit the distinction between citations added by inventors and patent examiners. We use information from the search reports of European Patent Office patent examiners to construct our dataset of patenting activity in Europe and the US, and apply various econometric models to investigate what determines the probability that a citation is added by the inventor rather than the examiner. Contrary to previous work which uses US Patent and Trademark Office data, we find that geographical distance is a factor that strongly diminishes the probability of knowledge flows. We find other significant effects of such factors as cognitive distance, time and strategic factors on citing behaviour.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 10 (December)
Pages: 1892-1908

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:10:p:1892-1908
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  1. Hausman, J.A. & Newey, W.K., 1992. "Nonparametric Estimation of Exact Consumers Surplus and Deadweight Loss," Working papers 93-2, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Peter Thompson, 2004. "Patent Citations and the Geography of Knowledge Spillovers: Evidence from Inventor- and Examiner-Added Citations," Working Papers 0405, Florida International University, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
  3. Akers, Noël J., 2000. "The referencing of prior art documents in European patents and applications," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 309-315, December.
  4. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2000. "Knowledge Spillovers And Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," ERSA conference papers ersa00p362, European Regional Science Association.
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  6. Juan Alcácer & Michelle Gittelman, 2006. "Patent Citations as a Measure of Knowledge Flows: The Influence of Examiner Citations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 774-779, November.
  7. Akers, Noel J., 1999. "The European Patent System: an introduction for patent searchers," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 135-163, September.
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  9. Jaffe, Adam B & Fogarty, Michael S & Banks, Bruce A, 1998. "Evidence from Patents and Patent Citations on the Impact of NASA and Other Federal Labs on Commercial Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 183-205, June.
  10. Laura Bottazzi & Giovanni Peri, . "Innovation and Spillovers in Regions: Evidence from European Patent Data," Working Papers 215, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  11. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Emmanuel Duguet & Megan MacGarvie, 2005. "How well do patent citations measure flows of technology? Evidence from French innovation surveys," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 375-393.
  13. Collins, Peter & Wyatt, Suzanne, 1988. "Citations in patents to the basic research literature," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 65-74, April.
  14. Bart Verspagen & Wilfred Schoenmakers, 2004. "The spatial dimension of patenting by multinational firms in europe," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 23-42, January.
  15. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2004. "Knowledge networks from patent data: Methodological issues and research targets," KITeS Working Papers 150, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jan 2004.
  16. Grid Thoma & Salvatore Torrisi, 2007. "Creating Powerful Indicators for Innovation Studies with Approximate Matching Algorithms. A test based on PATSTAT and Amadeus databases," KITeS Working Papers 211, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Dec 2007.
  17. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Michael S. Fogarty, 2000. "The Meaning of Patent Citations: Report on the NBER/Case-Western Reserve Survey of Patentees," NBER Working Papers 7631, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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