Assessing Indicators of Patent Quality: Complex vs Discrete Technologies

Author: Justus Baron, Henry Delcamp

Motivation & Goal:

This article compares indicators of patent quality in complex and discrete technologies using factor analysis and econometric methods. The application of common indicators such as forward citations to complex technologies has repeatedly been put into question. We study the interchangeability of indicators and their capacity to predict litigation on a sample of 9255 patents. Our results do not support the criticism. Even though there are significant differences in the behavior of indicators between samples of complex and discrete patents, issues of complex innovation do not seem to affect the interpretability of quality indicators. Consistently, both forward citations and a compound quality indicator perform equally well for complex and discrete technologies in predicting the likelihood of litigation.

Open Problems:

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