I was investigating the possible spike in the patent's out-degree. I observed a very strange behavior that patents citing 11 papers is much more than expected. I was wondering if there was some sort of limit on the citations a patent can make or some page-limit that may have given rise to this anamoly.

  • I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you saying that many patents cite 11 other documents? Or only papers? Did you differentiate between the applicant's citings and the examiner's?
    – user18033
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 8:47
  • @DonQuiKong Yes, I meant patents cite 11 other patents more than expected as seen in the degree distribution plot. About the applicant and examiner citation, the data is before year 2000, so there is no record of the citation being applicant's or examiner's. I am not sure if examiners could even add citations before 2000, although I believe it should be true. Is that true ?
    – learner
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 8:54
  • Well they certainly did cite documents against the patents during examination, but I don't know how or if they were added to the data like they are now. Is it exactly eleven citations that appear very often or are you just surprised that patents cite so many others?
    – user18033
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 9:45
  • Could I just clarify: what do you mean by "patents citing 11 papers"? Because I suspect this use of "citing" is quite different from how we usually use it (which is that a prior art document is cited against a patent). Does you mean a patent specification refers to a paper in its background? Or that a paper is provided in the IDS of a patent application? Or something else?
    – Maca
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 10:22
  • Also if you included examiner's citations and patent applications before the search report you have mixed data, just as a side note.
    – user18033
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 12:44


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