Before a patent is granted, the applicant and patent examiner identify prior art – earlier inventions and publications relevant to the patentability of the application. In this visualization, we utilize the forward citation metric – the number of later filed patent applications that have identified the Qualcomm patent as prior art – to visualize distinction through the size of the patent square. The more forward citations the patent has received, the larger the area of the patent square.
But the newest patents have, due to their recency, fewer citations. To correct for this age-bias, we are applying an 'expected future citations' formula to all patent squares within the timeline. The rate of forward citations typically follows a double exponential curve, peaking around 3-4 years after filing, followed by a slow decay.
Additionally, some patent squares on the timeline have been manually sized for visual distinction.
by Adam B. Jaffe and Manuel Trajtenberg