Patent Relevance

A Ocean Tomo Ratings™ system relevance score is a quantitative representation of the technical relevance or relatedness of any one U.S. patent to any other U.S. patent. The relevance score essentially represents the probability (on a scale from 0 - 1) that a first patent directly cites a second patent (i.e. that one directly cites the other), based on the network of inter-citational relatioships among all patents.

Relevance scores are calculated by analyzing up to four generations of citational relationships (i.e. one generation includes all patents cited by or citing a reference patent) existing among all issued patents.

For example, examiners at the USPTO cite relevant prior art patents and other relevant documents based on a thorough search of the technical literature. These are the primary, or first generation, citations. The PatentRatings system extrapolates this information by building a citation network and observing actual citational relationships that exist among patents dating back about 50 years to present.

Predictive modeling techniques are applied to arrive at an event-specific probability of a primary citation occurring between two patents (a first generation citation) based on the entire network of inter-citational relationships among all patents.

The analysis essentially determines the degree of overlap between the network of citational relationships of the two reference patents. More overlapping citational relationships indicate a statistically higher probability that the two patents are citationally related at the first generation. The resulting relevancy scores can be used to not only identify other relevant patents (both earlier and later filed) but can be used to objectively and statistically quantify the degree of relevance. Thus, it provides an improved model approach for quantitatively measuring a degree of relevance between two or more patents and/or other documents of interest.

Our relevance database contains over 4.8 billion records for over 5 million U.S. patents (as of May 2009) patent to patent relevance relationships above a threshold value of 0.05. Typically, about 1,000 patents are mapped as “relevant” to a single U.S. issued patent in a rank order (.999 to 0). The relevance scores are pre-processed and are maintained in a database exclusively accessible through an annual subscription to the PatentRatings system, and are updated periodically.

For more details on this method and technology utilized, please reference U.S. patent number 7,716,226 or email Ocean Tomo at


All data accessible through was prepared by Ocean Tomo based on proprietary algorithms and other statistical information provided by PatentRatings, LLC. All scores, ratings and ranks are statistical in nature and are based on publicly available data. They are not based on, nor do they consider any legal opinions or other profes­sional opinions, advice or other information (public or otherwise) that may have bearing on the subject matter of the analysis. No direct statistical correlation has been established between IPQ scores and "fair market value," royalty rates, validity, enforceability or infringement and IPQ scores should not be relied upon to prove or establish the existence or probability of such facts. No direct statistical correlation has been established between Relevance scores and patent­ability or materiality, and Relevance scores should not be relied upon to prove, establish or support any opinion of the materiality or patentability of one patent in view of another. Some of the information and services provided by this website may be covered by one or more of the following U.S. patents: 6,556,992; 7,657,476; 7,716,226; and other patents pending. Copyright 2001-2013 PatentRatings, LLC. Copyright 2013 Ocean Tomo, LLC. All rights reserved. 


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