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"Black sheep" in the patent family


  • Simmons, Edlyn S.


Some people are known as the "black sheep" of their families - people whose undesirable or disreputable lifestyle and bad behavior disrupts normal family relationships. Patent families can also have "black sheep", and like the "black sheep" of a human family they can disrupt a patent family in many ways - with missing or incorrect claims for priority, multiple priorities, ambiguous data formats or typographical errors. Disruptions in patent families can result from aggressive patenting strategies, but they can also be caused by bad behavior that is not the fault of the patent or patentee, such as data transcription errors, variations in national patent issuing procedures or inconsistent treatment by databases.

Suggested Citation

  • Simmons, Edlyn S., 2009. ""Black sheep" in the patent family," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 11-18, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worpat:v:31:y:2009:i:1:p:11-18

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    Cited by:

    1. Catalina Martínez, 2011. "Patent families: When do different definitions really matter?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 86(1), pages 39-63, January.
    2. Ying Huang & Donghua Zhu & Yue Qian & Yi Zhang & Alan L. Porter & Yuqin Liu & Ying Guo, 2017. "A hybrid method to trace technology evolution pathways: a case study of 3D printing," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 111(1), pages 185-204, April.
    3. Alfons Palangkaraya, 2010. "Patent Application Databases," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 43(1), pages 77-87, March.
    4. Hiroko Nakamura & Shinji Suzuki & Yuya Kajikawa & Masataka Osawa, 2015. "The effect of patent family information in patent citation network analysis: a comparative case study in the drivetrain domain," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 104(2), pages 437-452, August.


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