Measuring the Strength of Patents


Learn about Innography's newest feature for measuring the strength of patents based on your own criteria - CustomStrength.


As you may know, PatentStrength® is a trade secret of Innography that has been widely used in the industry as a de facto measurement of a patent’s strength. PatentStrength was developed based on 12 different factors outlined in the Allison Paper “Valuable Patents.” We realize, however, that there are multiple ways to assign a measure of strength to patents, and varying importance on domestic vs. international patents.  In our Spring 2014 release, we provided the ability to customize patent strength, giving all of our clients the ability to measure the value of patents using their favorite method.  PatentStrength remains the default model, unless you choose to create and sort on another.

CustomStrength algorithms can be created under Settings | CustomStrength in Advanced Analysis.

To create your own model, use any combination and weighting of these factors:

I’ll share four examples of how these attributes can be applied to replicate algorithms you may already be familiar with, or as the basis of your own.

Starting with the Valuable Patents model by John R. Allison, Mark A. Lemley, Kimberly A. Moore, and R. Derek Trunkey, the formula they used is:

if((refs/age) > 1, 1, 0) + if(cites > 18, 0, if(cites > 5, 1, 0)) + if(age > 10, 1, 0) + if(life > 1, 1, 0) + if(inventors > 3, 1, 0) + if(floor(publishyear/1000000) - floor(filedyear/1000000) > 4, 1, 0) + if(claims > 25, 1, 0) + if(litigation > 0, 1, 0)

Quoting from the Allison paper: “In this paper, we present the results of the largest empirical study ever conducted of the patent system. We compare the characteristics of litigated patents to those of issued patents generally, and we find important differences in a range of dimensions. These data confirm some predictions in the literature regarding patent value and refute others. New patents are more likely to be litigated than old patents. Foreign patent owners are less likely to litigate than domestic patent owners. Patents that issue to individuals or small companies are much more likely to be litigated than those that issue to big companies, though many of those patents have changed hands by the time they are brought to court. Patents that cite more prior art are more likely to be litigated, and those that are litigated tend to be cited more elsewhere. Most significantly, there are substantial differences between industries in the likelihood of patent litigation. Patents in the mechanical, computer, and medical device industries are significantly more likely to be litigated, for example, than patents in the chemical and semiconductor industries.”

Another popular method was leveraged to create our MarketMap, or what you may know as the Innography Bubble Chart.  This model considers the number of inventors, breadth across the industry, revenue and litigation to determine strength. 

if(inventors > 3, 1, 0) + if(breadth > 1, 1, 0) + if((refs/age) > 1, 1, 0) + if (revenue = 0, 0, if(revenue < 10000000, 0, if(revenue < 100000000, 1, if(revenue < 1000000000, 1, 1)))) + if(litigation > 0, 1, 0)

Some of our clients have expressed that they prefer analysis based upon references, citations, age, revenue, classification, time in review, number of claims, active vs. expired patents, and litigation.  This one is known as a Maintenance-Weighted Approximation. 

if((refs/age) > 1, 1, 0) + if(cites > 18, 0, if(cites > 5, 1, 0)) + if(age > 10, 1, 0) + if (revenue = 0, 0, if(revenue < 10000000, 0, if(revenue < 100000000, 1, if(revenue < 1000000000, 1, 1)))) + if(in(floor(cpcnumeric/100000000000000), 71, 65), 1, 0) + if(floor(publishyear/1000000) - floor(filedyear/1000000) > 4, 1, 0) + if(claims > 25, 1, 0) + if(life > 1, 1, 0) + if(litigation > 0, 1, 0)

The European Chemical Industry developed another popular model; this one focused on weighted references, age, revenue and jurisdiction.   It’s created as follows:

if((refs/age) > 1, 1, 0) + if(age > 10, 1, 0) + if (revenue = 0, 0, if(revenue < 10000000, 0, if(revenue < 100000000, 1, if(revenue < 1000000000, 1, 1)))) + if(IN(floor(jurisdiction/100), 8583), 1, 0) + if((jurisdiction0)=10, 1, 0)

It’s very likely that your industry has its own factors that would indicate which patents are seminal, or carry a stronger value than others.  We’re happy to help you create your own formula, or you can use one of these as the foundation for creating your own model.  You can learn more about the syntax by visiting Innography’s Help page for CustomStrength®. 




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