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Patent Citations, the Value of Innovations and Path-Dependency

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Abstract

This paper examines how the framework of path-dependency and technological trajectories can be applied to explain the observed distribution of patent values as it is revealed in the distribution of patent citations. A very simple model of based on generalized Polya urn processes is proposed to describe evolution of patent values. It is shown that the model fits empirical distribution of patent citations (USPTO and EPO data) surprisingly well.

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