Additional Issues

This final section describes some intriguing patterns identified by the network analysis, which appear worthy of further analysis. In Fig. 10.11, we wish to draw attention to the in-citations for Patent 4740470. At the top there are two triangular citation patterns. Triangles are a classic shape in network analysis. In the patent context, it would be interesting to see if the pattern is created by, say, a firm citing its own patents, or is the consequence of divisional patents or other process-related system.

The citations data present another unanticipated aspect, as shown in Fig. 10.12, where citations are plotted in log-log scale. The near linearity of the graph indicates a classic heavy tail function. Given the known heavy tail aspect of the distribution of patent values, this result is perhaps not surprising. What is notable is that the distribution of in-citations and out-citations is nearly identical. Now if, as suggested by Tables 10.1 and 10.2, pioneering inventions are characterized by a high in-citation/out-citation ratio, by extension it is possible that well-developed technologies (those at the far end of the technology development cycle) have a very low ratio. This prediction can be verified, but it remains notable that the effects are so symmetrical.

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