RotoView US Patent Citation Analysis
Every patent document has a prior art section, consisting of lists of patents and other publications which were considered during the patent prosecution at the US patent offfice. 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 . Frequently cited patents typically represent key technologies that have led to many subsequent innovations, and are often correlated with various measures of success . As a result, process of patent citation analysis has become an important tool in the evaluation of the commercial value of patents. The process of Breschi et al. stated in their research on highly-cited patents that identifying the 5% most cited US patents "imply selecting USPTO patents receiving 20 citations or more" .
In a New York Times article reflecting on the purchase of Palm by HP, writer Jenna Wortham interviewed Mr. Pete Conley, a managing partner at MDB. Mr. Conley said that his firm valued Palm's portfolio of patents at about $1.4 billion. In particular, Mr. Conley pointed out that "Palm has a multitasking patent issued in December 2003 that has been cited by other companies 48 times in the last seven years". He pointed out that 48 citations is "roughly 10 times the average of any patent and is indicative of its high value".
This updated patent citation analysis was conducted based on the USPTO web site as of August 22, 2016. The first RotoView patent US 6,466,198 was issued in October 2002 and was cited 319 times (more than six times the citation count for the Palm multitasking patent mentioned above). The second RotoView patent US 6,933,923, issued in 2005, was cited 195 times (including 64 citations as 2002/0190947). In addition, the RotoView web site was cited by 7 US patents, bringing the total citations count to 521. After removing the duplications by patents that cite both RotoView patents, there are 412 unique citing patents.
While forward-citation analysis is a crucial metric for valuing patents, experts have indicated the need for a multi-stage evaluation to insure that a highly-cited patent really points to a major innovation . One must verify that the citing patents significantly relate to the teaching and claims of the cited patent. Since RotoView teaches specific hardware structures and related methods, it is easy to determine that most citing patents in this case strongly relate to the RotoView technology.
When the number of patent citations is very high, it is important to ascertain that the citing patents belong to a diverse number of quality companies. If only a few companies own most of the citing patents, then the high citation count may not be indicative of a true innovation that is widely applicable to a main industrial field. In the case of the present RotoView forward-citation analysis, it is readily established that the citing patents belong to quality owners. Major companies (listed alphabetically) whose patents cite RotoView include: Apple, Black & Decker, Casio Computer, Fujitsu, HP, Google, HTC Corporation, Intel Corp, Koninklijke Philips Electronics, Kyocera Corp, LG Electronics, LM Ericsson, Matsushita Electrical Industrial Co, Memsic Inc., Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, NEC Corp, Nintendo, Nokia, Palm, Research In Motion, Ricoh Company, Samsung, Seiko Epson, Sharp, Siemens Corp, Sony, Sprint Communications and Vodafone Group plc.
A multi-stage evaluation to insure 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. In the present case of RotoView, we have searched the patent applications of the companies that cite RotoView patents and found hundreds of applications that relate to the major components of the RotoView technology in the context of mobile devices with small screens. Of course, only a portion of these patent applications will mature as patents that directly relate to tilt-based view navigation. However, the vast number of of these patent applications show that RotoView patents are indeed indicative of a major field of R&D activity.
The high forward-citation count of the RotoView patent by 412 unique patents belonging to a diversed group of major companies clearly reflects on the potential value of the RotoView patents. This high citation count significantly exceeds the number of citations of many of the valuable patents that have been in the news due to a high purchase price or major settlements. Analysis of pending applications indicates that the RotoView patent pioneered a major field of innovation and that the citation count is expected to climb rapidly. Please review the RotoView IP portfolio:RotoView IP portfolio
Note: This patent citation analysis was originally published on May 26, 2010, when the RotoView patent citation count just exceeded the 100 unique patent citations mark.
3. Setfano Breschi et al,"Highly Cited Patents, Highly Cited Publications, and Research Networks", CESPRI-BOCCONI University, December 2006. (Quote from page 43).
4. Jenna Wortham, "Will Other Bidders Emerge for Palm?", The New York Times, April 29, 2010.
6. Narin, F., and D. Olivastro, "Technology Indicators Based on Patents and Patent Citations." In Handbook of Quantitative Studies of Science and Technology. Holland: Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. 1988.