Harnessing the value in patent citations

With the increasing need for fully global citation analysis for international organisations, the volume and complexity of patent citations makes it a difficult area to efficiently navigate. However, with the right tools it is also an exceptionally valuable one. PatBase and Analytics V3 support innovators and legal professionals across all industries gain competitive and business intelligence by performing accurate patent citations analysis.


Why patent citations?

Analysing patent citations allows organisations to quickly identify players working in a similar technology area, new competitors entering a similar field, potential licensing opportunities and keep an eye on potential infringers in the sea of data. The number of forward citations is also seen by many top analysts as the biggest predictor of patent value. A high number of forward citations can be a sign of industry-wide investment in that specific technology area. Citation analysis is often used as a starting point for patent commercialisation.

Such an analysis requires access to a comprehensive patent database. If your search system does not have the necessary coverage or quality-checked data then you will not trust the results, nor will you trust any analysis performed upon it. The ongoing process of cleaning and preparing patent data is of great significance at Minesoft, and PatBase now hosts 77 full text collections with bibliographic data from 106 jurisdictions. PatBase Analytics V3 offers built-in analysis on patent citations, allowing streamlined access for all users to process this huge amount of data and create stunning visualisations which are ideal for sharing in boardroom environments – even to those without patent know-how!


How to use PatBase to harness the value in patent citations

As a result of demand from the information industry, Minesoft has developed a suite of citation tools to allow PatBase users to harness the value in patent citations. A simple and unique way to identify and collate forward and backward citations for a result set is to make use of the command line. It is possible to search for forward and backward citations on a search query by using the command CTA, forward citations only with the command CTF, and backward citations only with the command CTB.

For a more in-depth way to study the citations for a specific family, Minesoft developed Citation Explorer. Detailed inspections of citation data using Citation Explorer is straight-forward with an option to display information side-by-side providing easy comparisons of claims or drawings etc. Visual tools such as graphical views, a timeline and a tree view assist with evaluating patent citations so the most cited/citing patents and patterns are easy to spot. Users have the option to export all information as an Excel file, making managing your citations and sharing your findings simple.

patent citations tree

Figure 1: example of Citation Explorer tree view for patent number US2018047288 AA.


The citation analysis options in PatBase Analytics V3 provide a novel way to interrogate your result set. Users can bring a dataset together into a number of different charts or graphs and present in a way that is easily understood. Citations can be analysed by jurisdiction, year or assignee. There are a range of built-in features and settings which make the charts and graphs simple to manipulate, whatever the level of complexity.

For example, the below graph identifies the top 10 forward citing assignees for the search query PA=(Apple) and TAC=(sound) over the past 20 years. This helps to identify companies filing and citing in specific technology spaces.

patent citations graph

Figure 2: Top 10 forward citing assignees based on the search PA=(Apple) and TAC=(sound).


PatBase has some of the most comprehensive citation tools in the information industry and are included in all full PatBase subscriptions for no extra fee! For more information about PatBase or any of our web-based patent solutions go to

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