As promised, here is part II – Patent Variables to measure internal patent value.
Why is this important for the practicing attorney? As one who prosecutes patents and gives advice to clients on which applications to pursue and which to let abandon, this will give scientific weight to your advice.
First I will give a short background on how I “measured value” objectively for the patents in my data set.
Dependent Variable, or “measured value”: Forward Citation Counts
The dependent variable, forward citations, is measured by the number of citations the granted patent has from other patents. The variable was operationalized by counting the frequency of citations that the particular patent receives from subsequent patents as filed in the USPTO. I also controlled for self-citing.
Is this valid? I propose it is – Starting as early as 1990 forward citations have been validated by other research, showing that a general conceptual patent value or quality definition can be linked to the number of citations and external references it receives. The reasoning for the use of citations as a measure of value is the same for scientific literature: the economic importance of a work should be correlated with the frequency to which it is cited as a benchmark for further developments. It has been suggested that given the high cost of litigation, patents which are litigated are also typically considered valuable patents, and research with litigated patents have been correlated to high patent citations.
Independent Variables: Strategic Patenting Decisions
I am suggesting that each of these variables has an influence into the final value of a patent.
Family Size. Family size is all related applications (continuations, continuation-in-part and divisionals) filed worldwide.
Breadth. Patent breadth or scope is a measure of the technological influence or boundaries that the patent encompasses.
Claim Count. Claims define the legal boundaries of the patent rights, thus the firm typically has incentive to claim as much and as widely as possible while the examiner may narrow or reduce the claims to ensure validity before granting.
Jurisdiction. Jurisdiction size is computed as the number of separate country jurisdictions in which patent protection was sought for the same application.
Provisional Basis. Provisional applications allow an inventor to file information relating to their invention claim priority to that filing date up to 1 year from the original provisional filing date
Priority Claim. Priority claim is the basis of whether the patent application was based on a previous application, such as a continuation or divisional.
If you wish to see how I operationalized any of these variables let me know and I will post some additional details.
Next up: Part III – Results How did each of these independent variables fair when put to the statistical tests? And, more to the point, how can we apply this from a patent filing strategy perspective?