So you’ve stumbled upon this website, gotten your overview of Patent Rank and still have no idea what we are talking about. Sound about right? Let us bring some light to this obscurity by explaining deeper how the Patent Rank system works.
Citing your Property
So you have a patent. You know how it works, what it does, and what you believe to be its value. What does this do for you though? While many patents are generated by big corporations, utilized for a specific task, or simply created to protect an idea, very rarely do we see patent valuation defined in an easy to understand fashion with real-world application. This is where we come in! First we locate your patent in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) network. Next, this patent is evaluated based on its denoted citations. Simply put, a citation is a reference. There are backwards (outbound) citations and forward (inbound) citations. Backward citations are a reference to prior art that is required by law in all patent documentation. Essentially, this is the process of giving credit to others ideas that were used in a patent. Forward citations on the other hand are the exact opposite. These are other patents citing previous patents as prior art and giving credit for the use of an idea in their work. Patent Rank identifies all of the citations in the entire USPTO database, links them all together, and creates what we refer to as your “patent network”. We know that was a bit to process, so stick with us – it will all make sense in a minute.
Lets dive into that “patent network” concept we just mentioned. The patent network is one of the key components of the Patent Rank system. This network consists of your patent and all of the relevant patents in the network identified through the citations. This network is created through two elements: Nodes (the patents) and Links (the citations). Imagine a pearl necklace. All of the pearls are strung together on the chain in a nice and orderly fashion. When looking at any given pearl, there are pearls behind it and others in front of it. Network theory does exactly this, only it’s not quite as simple as a pearl necklace. This is patents people! Much better, and a bit more complicated than a necklace. Here is a small example of a simple patent network:
As you can see, all of the nodes (patents) are connected to each other through links (citations). Establishing this network helps us assess value because we can compare your patent to other patents in the network. Once this network has been established, we move into the fun stuff – the math!
Steps 1 and 2 are now completed. We have identified all of the citations and created a network based on them. Now comes the heavy lifting. While Patent Rank uses fairly simple math to assess value, to the average Joe, it may be a bit like trying to decipher code. No one has time for that, so let us do it for you. We start by placing the patent network into the Patent Rank algorithm that simultaneously considers all forward and backward citations in an infinite recursive manner. Infinite recursive what? This just means that we don’t look at “how many” citations your patent is associated with, but rather the value of those citations. Infinite recursion is a far superior method of measuring value rather than counting 1, 2, 3… Once all of this has been considered, we plug in the numbers, perform the calculations, plug it into the computer and beep! Seconds later your Patent Rank has been calculated. This Patent Rank can be viewed in several forms, many of which are long numbers that mean nothing to the average consumer. Because of this, we have established the heart of the Patent Rank system, the Patent Rank Badge. The badge is an indication of value that helps you understand the meaning of this Patent Rank concept we keep referring to.