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Researchers studying innovation increasingly use indicators based on patent citations. The authors show that examiner citations account for 63 per cent of all citations on the average patent, and that 40 per cent of patents have all citations added by examiners. They use multivariate regression and analysis of variance to identify the determinants of examiner shares. Taken together, the findings suggest that heterogeneity in firm-level patenting practices, in particular by high-volume applicants, has a strong influence on the data. This suggests that analysis of firm-level differences in patenting strategies is an important topic for future research.
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