Citation Basics

AcclaimIP's Citations tabs offer a comprehensive range of information beyond just the basics. Included, depending on your access level, are the following:

  • Direct Citations
  • Simple Family Citations
  • Non-Patent Literature Citations
  • Extra data on the citations, including the phase it was cited in, categories (X, I, A, etc.), 102/103 rejections, etc., and
  • A patent pending un-cited art score to surface data that can be helpful in litigation, portfolio strength and strengthening, and other use cases

See below for more in-depth discussions on the above

Direct Citations

Patent citations are references to previously issued patents that are cited in a new patent application or granted patent. They are a way for inventors and patent examiners to acknowledge prior art and demonstrate the novelty and non-obviousness of the claimed invention. Patent citations can be used to establish the state of the art in a particular field, to identify potential competitors and collaborators, and to track the influence of a patent over time. Analyzing patent citations can provide valuable insights into technological trends, innovation networks, and the competitive landscape of a given industry.

Direct citations are those reverse or forward citations to the application family, itself. The citation can happen at different times by different parties in the process (applicant, examiner, etc.).

Reverse citations are older documents that a patent cites.  Reverse citations are published along with the issued patent, and they do not change or increment as time goes on.  In other words, the reverse citations remain fixed, or static, during the life of the patent.  They are not going to change.

Forward citations are newer documents than the target patent that cite the target patent. The number of forward citations can change over time as new patents are filed. Generally, a higher number of forward citations means that a patent is stronger. This does, however, depend on several factors (for example, when the target patent is cited, as examiner citations are more important than self-citations).

Note when you switch to the Family Citation tab the direct citations to the target patent have a DC in the DC column to let you know which are to family members and which are to the target patent. 

Family Citations

Family citations, or simple family citations, take the citations for the entire DOCDB simple family into account. With this set of family citations, we can see not only the direct citations to the application family document in focus, but also the citations to the additional application families.

For example, if you have a US document and a Japanese counterpart, the specification is the same for either. However, the US examiner is probably going to choose the US family member and the Japanese examiner is probably going to choose the Japanese family member. But they could choose either. Therefore, it is important to be able to see the citations as well at the simple family level.

Additionally, having both the direct citations and the family citations allows AcclaimIP to perform proprietary analytics on citation data, which is discussed below.

We will discuss the important features for the citations in the next sections. Please note that not all of features you see in the screenshots above are available at every access level. 


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