This (random) patent on Google says it was cited by 67 other patents:


...Same patent on USPTO says it was cited by just 49.


I know that "Cited by Examiner" patents appear in both.

...So what's the difference? Why would Google show more citations than the Patent Office itself?

  • 2
    After a quick look it seems that the USPTO only identifies granted patents, whereas Google Patents identifies both granted patents and published patent applications. Feb 24, 2020 at 15:57

2 Answers 2


The @the Europeist comment is correct - Google is showing references from patent publications. Technically they are not really citations until they appear printed in a patent. It looks like Google is going into PAIR or the Global Dossier to the file wrapper and getting information from the IDS forms filed in the applications.


Google patent capture all the patents i.e., US and Non US ( WO,EP,AU ETC.,) Where as USPTO capture only the US data the difference is due to the fact there are other Non US parents present in the Google patent.

  • This is not correct. In the example given in the question there are all US patents and applications except for one PCT application. Separately, if a foreign reference is cited by an examiner in the USPTO it will certainly show up on the face of the patent as a cited document.
    – George White
    Feb 28, 2020 at 1:33

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