Report:Google Patent Search/Viewing Results/Viewing Patent Citations

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Viewing Patent Citations

Users should remember that forward and backward citations are created in Google Patent Search from the scanned citation content published on the patent faces. Therefore, if a cited document number is scanned incorrectly or if a document fails to scan altogether, that forward-backward citation relationship will not exist electronically.

Given those uncertainties, the cited relationships that have been successfully established in the system can be viewed on the patent summary page. US backward citations appear in the summary data as “citations,” and any foreign or non-patent cited data is omitted. Forward US citations are listed under the “Referenced by” heading.


Backward and Forward citation lists.


Non-patent citations are not displayed on the patent summary page, but may be viewed by reading the front page of the patent image. One benefit of Google Patent is that because of the way the documents were scanned, the non-patent citation text is searchable, and a keyword search for an individual’s name might bring up a patent which in turn cites a document authored by that person. This is not possible in certain other patent search engines (for example, PatBase or MicroPatent PatentWeb) which do not always treat that data as part of a searchable full text record.


A non-patent citation is found by a Google Patent search on the journal name.


Occasionally, users will find that clicking on a citation link will deliver them to a broken link page. This is a problem with the link hosting and not an indication that Google does not possess that particular US Patent. Users are advised to re-enter the patent number into Google Patents when a broken link page comes up.


Google returns this page when a user clicks on a broken link. Users are advised to click on the back button in their browser and enter the patent number into the search engine.
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