The Choice of Examiner Patent Citations for Refusals: Evidence from the trilateral offices

Author Name WADA Tetsuo (Gakushuin University)
Creation Date/NO. July 2018 18-E-046
Research Project Study on Industrial Innovation Capability and Innovation Infrastructure
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This paper compares X/Y patent citations (i.e., those cited as grounds for rejections) between major patent offices. It reveals discrepancies between the offices, despite the common patentability criteria of novelty and inventive steps to generate citations. This paper also examines how the discrepancies of X/Y patent citations at the European Patent Office (EPO) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) relate to the characteristics of applications and longitudinal aspects of office actions. X/Y patent citations of both the EPO and USPTO commonly show that the range of patent application classes is positively correlated with divergent reasons for refusal. One novel methodological feature of this paper is that examiner citations across jurisdictions are comparable if we employ family-to-family citations and common criteria for the X/Y citation category. Furthermore, unlike the normal citation-generating process where a citing document adds citations to prior art only once, this paper represents the first attempt to analyze a citation network with multiple citing opportunities for separate parties, thereby providing a new perspective on the notion of breadth in citation impact.

Published: Tetsuo Wada, 2018. "The choice of examiner patent citations for refusals: evidence from the trilateral offices," Scientometrics, Vol. 117(2), pp. 825-843