Every patent document has a prior art section, consisting of lists of patents and other publications which were considered during the patent prosecution at different patent offices. Cited prior art patents are provided by the applicants or may be identified by the patent examiners in an effort to limit and define the scope of a new patent. Measuring the number of forward citations of a published patent is a vital indicator for establishing the importance of a strategic patent
We perform a multi-stage evaluation to ensure that a highly-cited patent really points to an evolving major innovation must analyze related pending patents. Although all pending patent applications are routinely published, their pre-grant publications do not show the prior art citations until (and if) the patents are granted. Without prior art citation, one can verify the importance of a highly cited patent on pending applications using special keywords.