Global Patent Map Reveals the Structure of Technological Progress

Brightspace Blog, Oct 04, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Leaving aside the dubious claim that patent applications equal "tennological progress", the map revealed in this analysis of patent citations is nonetheless interesting, revealing a now-familiar network structure across disciplines. "These databases are organised rather like the Yahoo directory from the 1990s– in a predefined hierarchy of topics. That certainly helps when it comes to filing patents under specific categories but it also obscures the deeper relationship between various new technologies as they emerge." The article goes on to suggest that a page-link type algorithm could determine the relative importance of individual patents. Here's the full paper (26 page PDF).

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