Exploring Citations

Our Citation Analysis allows you to analyze the citations of your patent pool, but with our new interactive Citation Explorer, you can visualize the citation network of a single patent. This allows you to get a quick visual representation of the backward and forward citations.

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As an example consider the patent US4590975A, which is granted to COCA COLA CO for an automatic beverage dispensing system. You can open the Citation Explorer for this patent by clicking on the Citation Explorer button in the header bar of the Patent viewer (support-number-1.png) or by going to the Citations tab and clicking the View in Citation Explorer button (support-number-2.png). You will see a tree visualization, with a list of backward (on the left) and forward (on the right) citations with their first applicant displayed as the label for the nodes.

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(Click on the image to see a live version of the US4590975A citation tree)

We see that the patent US4590975A has 15 backward and 56 forward citations. In the forward citations count, we also see a red number 50, this indicates that the visualization is limited to only show the top 50 forward citations in the tree. You can navigate in the citation tree by click and drag to see the forward citation that are not visible or you can also use the preview navigator in the bottom right (support-number-3.png) by dragging the grey bar to the part of the tree you want to see.

By default, all the citations with the same applicant as the target patent will be shown in the same blue color, these are the self-citations. In our example, we see that COCA COLA CO has a lot of forward self-citations for the patent US4590975A. This means that the technology for the automatic beverage dispensing system is reused/improved by COCA COLA CO.

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(Click on the image to see a live version of the US4590975A citation tree)

You can highlight specific applicants in other colors, simply by hovering over a node and then choosing a color in the tooltip that will pop up. This will help you to group related patents by applicant in a visual way and is particularly helpful when you are dealing with a large set of citations.

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(Click on the image to see a live version of the US4590975A citation tree)

The Citation Explorer also allows you the change the display label of the nodes. So in our example, we can choose to display the first inventor of the patent on the nodes instead of the applicant. You can do this by hovering over one of the nodes and choose the Inventor option in the Label dropdown of the tooltip. In our example, you will see that all colors that you have defined will be reset and only the citations with same first inventor like the target patent will be highlighted in blue.  

At last, you could click through on specific patents that you find interesting and take a look at their citation network.

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