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Citation rates to technologically important patents


  • Carpenter, Mark P.
  • Narin, Francis
  • Woolf, Patricia


The purpose of this study was to determine whether the average number of citations received by issued U.S. patents from subsequently issued U.S. patents is higher for patents associated with important technological advances than for a group of randomly selected patents. Analysis of examiners' citations to 100 selected patents showed that these selected patents, which underlay technically important products, were more than twice as frequently cited (significance level of 0.0001) as a randomly selected set of 102 control patents. This finding provides strong evidence for the hypothesis that patent citation data can be used in technological indicators development, and in technological policy analysis, since it implies that the location and analysis of groups of highly cited patents can provide a valid indicator of patent areas of technical importance.

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  • Carpenter, Mark P. & Narin, Francis & Woolf, Patricia, 1981. "Citation rates to technologically important patents," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 160-163, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worpat:v:3:y:1981:i:4:p:160-163

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