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Patent citations

Patent citations
« on: May 23, 2015, 05:54:28 PM »
Okay so in reading through patents I see sometimes they have citations that is a heading or a group they are referring to. Why are they citing these patents? I see one here with 22 allowed patents that are being cited. Many if not all seem to be a patent on the same basic idea, but the first one was in 1929 and the most recent in 2013.

 Then there is another group with the heading Referenced by. Again they seem to be patents addressing a basic idea that is patented in 10 different ways.

 Then under the heading referenced by, it says "citing patent"

 This all seems pretty confusing, are they saying look at these patents to help cloud the issue or make it more clear?  To me it seems that by the time you look into all these patents they have pretty much covered everything you can think of. Yet they keep issuing new patents.


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Re: Patent citations
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2015, 02:35:52 PM »
Good question.

Remember, a patent only protects what is listed in the "claims section".  So, although two patents may look almost identical, if you read the claims carefully you will see that they are different and cover different things.

As you work through the patent examination process, both you as the inventor and the patent examiner will find older related patents.  These "references" will then be linked to your patent.  Sometimes people call these old references "prior art" and they are used to set the background or foundation for your patent.

In the future, if other people cite or reference your patent as "prior art" then those forward citations will also show up. 

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