Author: L. Levine 1
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  • 1 Pacific Northwest Laboratory P.O. Box 999 99352 Richland Washington (USA) P.O. Box 999 99352 Richland Washington (USA)
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Abstract  

Patent information on 7392 inventors who received 9 or more U.S. Patents during 1975–84 was obtained. Analysis of the frequency distribution of patents per inventor reveals an approximately logarithmic decline from 9 to approximately 45 patents per inventor. The rate of decline decreases significantly for patent output above 45 patents per inventor. Patent citation analysis on 45 randomly selected inventors was performed. This sample included inventors who received from 9 to over 100 patents. The group received 1.79 citations per patent, 56.8% of the patents received at least 1 citation, and 2.7% of the patents received 10 or more citations. No statistically significant differences for these averages was found across the range of inventor patent output. No significant decline of patent quality with increased yearly patent output was observed.