April 18, 2024

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Introduction: Patent Citation

Patents are considered an important source of technology and competitive information. Patent documents contain various types of information such as applicant and inventor information, International Patent Class (IPC), and so on. Detailed technical information, prior art citations, complaints, geographic location, etc. Patent data is becoming more and more available on the Internet, with undue potential for engineers in the areas of technological change and innovation. Various methods for analyzing patent data have already been described. Currently, businessmen, scholars, and researchers use patent information to analyze patent activity in geographic areas, technologies, or companies, determine the direction of technological change, or relative to an organization in the market. I judge the technical scenario. In general, engineers use patents and subsequent citations to measure the ingenious performance of an organization. They also used citation strength to measure the importance or impact of the invention. So, what is a patent citation?

What is patent citation?

A patent citation is a document that is cited by a patent applicant, examiner, or third party and is related to the content of the patent application. Virtually any publicly available document can form the basis of a patent citation. 

There are two main types of patent citations:

Backward Citation, a backward citation is a document published and in the public domain before the filing date of the patent application in which the citation is cited. These are also called “cutting edge”. Ideally, these backward citations are all information that is publicly available before the filing date of the patent.

On the other hand, the forward citation is a recently published document citing the underlying patent application. Therefore, once a patent application is submitted, it can be cited by journals, new patent applications, etc. These are classified as forwarding citations. Forward citations are commonly used by competitors or people in the underlying patent-related industry. They can provide insights and data on the current state of the field within each industry.

The underlying reason a patent is cited as a backward or forward citation is because of its relationship and similarity to the applicable patent application. 4,444 patent examiners carry out a thorough patent search on their own for all patent applications. Therefore, there is no way out of similar patents that may get in your way. By back-citing the related patent, you can inform the patent examiner that you have seen the related patent and show that the patent application is clear. When a patent is cited, it also means that the examiner knew about that particular patent and still thought your invention was patentable. After that, your patent will be considered valid against the cited patent. Therefore, if your patent is later involved in a proceeding, it will be difficult to claim that the other party did not grant the patent if the examiner was talking about the patent. On the other side of the coin, patent examiners often cite backward citations of patent applications as justification and support for their decision to reject a patent for approval. 

Patents are a form of intellectual property rights. They give the patentee the right to prohibit others from manufacturing, using, selling, or importing anything within the scope of the patent. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is a government agency that manages and determines patents. The patent application process is long and complex. If the patent examiner finds that the patent is too similar to the previous invention, the patent application may be rejected. Therefore, it is very important to conduct a patent search in advance before filing a patent application with the JPO. A patent citation is a useful tool for conducting patent research during the filing process.

Even if you do not file a patent application for a particular invention yourself, the patent and patent application may contain data that is very useful from a business point of view. Patents can contain important insights into a company’s business direction, such as inventions that it believes to be valuable, specific technologies and products that it pursues, and other important business details.

Patent examiners take their work seriously and carry out a very thorough prior art search when examining patent applications. In addition, different patent examiners focus on different related patents. Patent citations can be important. Patents that are frequently cited by other patents tend to have higher commercial value than patents that are not cited by other patents. Patents frequently cited by other patents gain visibility in their respective fields. This helps to show additional business opportunities and industry recognition.

Problems Using Patent Citations: 

A patent search using patent citations can provide very useful data. However, it is important to remember that a patent application or a resulting patent does not list all applicable or related patents. The patent citation list for a particular patent omits some very important related patents for the nature of the technology or product of the underlying patent and for the patent examiner assigned to that patent. There may be. Some patent examiners may focus on a particular prior art, ignoring other relevant areas or areas. So, while it’s a useful resource when it comes to running out of a particular area, technology, or area of ​​interest, patent citations aren’t the only resource. 

Patent Citation Search: If you want to perform your patent citation search, you need to make sure that it covers various databases. In this way, you can cover all areas and be sure to find all possible matches. Searching for a patent can be time-consuming, but it can provide powerful business intelligence and resources when preparing your patent application.


Patent citation analysis is an important technique that can be used to examine the evaluation of science and technology. The rationale behind its use is that papers or patents cited as prior art by many later patents tend to contain important ideas for which many inventions have been constructed. This does not mean that all important documents are frequently cited, or that all frequently cited documents are important. However, many empirical studies have demonstrated a strong positive relationship between citation and technical importance.


  • Shrinivas Shrivastava, India: Patent Citation Analysis and its significance, Mondag, Lexorbis, May 2019. 
  • Vijay pal Dalmia, Patent law in India: Everything you must know, Mondag, Vaish Associates Advocates, June 2015.
  • Saranash Chaturvedi, how to go patent filing in India: All you need to know, The Economic Times, September 2021.
  • Aparna Sharma and Ruchi Sharma, Patent citing patterns of foreign firms: an analysis of Indian IT services industry, Asian Journal of technology and innovation, January 2022.
  • David. S. Abrams and Bhaven. N. Sampat, What’s the Value of Patent Citations?
    Evidence from Pharmaceuticals, June 2017.
  • Patent Law Resources, Patent Citation Search: Everything You Need to Know, UpCounsel.

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