What makes the first forward citation of a patent occur earlier?

Jungpyo Lee, So Young Sohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Identifying the economic value of a patent is crucial to technology management. It also facilitates the commercialization and transactions of patents. As a proxy of patent value, forward citation counting is widely used, but it takes a long time for a patent to be sufficiently cited. In this context, we suggest the first citation lag, namely the time taken until the first citation, as a proxy of patent value, as it is positively correlated with the patent value and considers the fact that important patents with a high economic value tend to receive many citations in a short space of time. We explore the influential patent attributes related to the first citation lag to build a model to predict the patent value. By using the Cox proportional hazard model on green inventory patent data, we find that patents with a shorter technology cycle time and a larger number of IPC four-digit classes, claims, patent family, and backward citations are associated with the shorter first citation lag, while a patent’s science linkage has an inverse U-shaped relationship with the first citation lag. Further, patents having an unconventional technological core have a longer first citation lag and among patents having an unconventional technological core, the presence of a novel element makes the first citation earlier. Our study is expected to help patent evaluation in the early stage of technology transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-298
Number of pages20
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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