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Research Impact Metrics

Metrics for Patents

As a scholarly output, patents may have economic indicators of imapct that won't be applicable to other outputs, such as:

  • Companies and startups 
  • Research investments
  • Products resulting from the patents and *their* impact

Citations may also be an indicator of patent impact, including citations in other patents and (possibly) articles. However, you may need to search the patent in multiple databases, Lens and Google Scholar and Google Patents, for example.


What is Lens and how does it help me with patent citations?

Lens is a new discovery system for articles and patents, with an extensive number of search fields and tools for visualizing citation data. You can search for patents to see what articles and patents they cited, and what patents cited the patent.


What is the best way to search Lens for patents that cited my patent(s)?

  1. You can search by inventor using Patent Search, but you might have add additional fields to search name variants (with and without a middle initial, for example), and make sure to change the "and" to "or."  If you need to refine the results, you can filter by owner, such as Regents of the University of California. From here, you can sort the patents by citations, then view the citing patents.
  2. You can also search on a single patent or application using the Pub Key or Pub Number fields (note how the numbers should be entered).
  3.  Starting at PatCite, you can search by a patent or patent application number, but only if the patent cited articles indexed in Lens.


Is there more I can do with Lens?

There are help guides and tutorials, and the PatCite page also has some use cases. 

What can I get out of Google Patents

Google Patents includes more than 120 million patent publications from 100+ patent offices (including US, WIPO, Europe, Japan, UK, Canada, etc). Included in the full text of the patent will be a list of citing patents, including family to family citations.

In the general information section in the patent record, under the Application events, the Cited by link.will direct you to the list of citing patents, including family-to-family patents.



What can I get out of Google Scholar

You can search for patents in Google Scholar (or view them on a Scholar Profile) and view the citing patents as you would in Google Patents, but you may also find articles that cited the patent (or at least the patent family) as well.  



Are there other places to check for citations to a patent? 

There are other databases where you can find citations to patents, though what you find may already be found in Lens and/or Google.