How to save money when searching patents – Part 4 – Seeing more with ghost patents

AmberScope has been designed to make search for patents as easy and quick as possible, therefore saving our clients time and money.

In previous blogs we have explored:

In this blog we will take a proper look at ghost patents – and show just how useful these can be.

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We will start, as always, with US patent 6705638, filed in 2002 for an airbag for a glove box. If this patent number is entered into AmberScope, we will see an image just like this:

US6705638-network_20141022-044022_1.jpg

You will notice that there are two types of dots (in fact patents), namely those shown with solid lines 

Direct-patent-found.jpg

And patents with translucent lines, such as this one. This is what we call ghost patents

ghost-patent-found.jpg

 

If we look again at the network, these ghost patents are connected to the rest of the network with curves lines

curved-lines.jpg

 

What is a ‘ghost patent’?

A ghost patent, to us, is a: 

  • Patent not directly connected by a forward or backward citations to your seed patent, in this case the US6705638 patent. 
  • But which our algorithms predict may still be similar to the seed patent.
  • These can be earlier or later patents.

However in AmberScope, we restrict the number of ghost patents displayed so make AmberScope more manageable.

 

How well do ghost patents work in practice?

In the image below I have marked all of the ghost patent in purple (done by clicking on the box on the top left corner, which changes colour when you do so)

mouse-target.jpg

 

Once a patent is selected in this way, it goes moved to the table to the right of the network – whereupon the orange downward pointing arrow can be used to download the table to excel.

table.jpg

 

We can download these patents into Excel, remove the US6705638 seed patent from this list, and show you the results in the table below

Number

Title

Owner

Amberscore

Airbag for a glove box?

US5324070  (1993)

Air bag device for a knee of an occupant

TAKATA CORP

3.8

No – airbag for instrument panel

US5536043 (1995)

Air bag activated knee bolster

MORTON INT INC

8.8

US6019390 (1998)

Multiple panel airbag

MILLIKEN & CO

4.1

No – airbag for passenger dashboard

US6302437 (2000)

Vehicle glove box assembly having knee restraint capabilities

DAIMLER CHRYSLER CORP

4.9

Yes

JP2002356137 (2001)

Vehicular occupant crash protection device

TAKATA CORP

0.3

Yes

US6971667 (2003)

Glove compartment airbag system

AUTOLIV ASP INC

2.7

Yes

US7261318 (2003)

Knee airbag and glove box assembly

AUTOLIV ASP INC

6.2

Yes

US8596681 (2012)

Internal deployment vehicle panel assembly

NISSAN

0.09

Yes

 

As you can see, the last five ghost patents all disclose an airbag for a glove box, while even the first three patents disclosed similar inventions.

 

How does the ghost patent algorithm work?

This is based on purely on our advanced citation analytics. This in turn, builds on the ability of human beings who when making these citation connections are able to recognise similarity between patents, even if different technical terms are used.

 

Can I just have a long list of ghost patents?

Ambercite offers Automated Patent Searching which includes the ability to identify a long list of earlier (than the seed patent) or later ghost patents

 

Applications for ghost patent analysis

Applications for ghost patent analysis include

Ghost patents can also be combined with other search tools to find relevant patents.

 

 

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