As we all may have noticed at some point there is a list of references cited adorning the face of every US patent. Utilizing these lists of references cited, patents can be connected to other patents through the references cited on their own face, as well as the instances where the patent is cited on a subsequent patent’s face. By connecting patents in this manner a network begins to form and begs the question: How many steps would it take to connect any patent with any other patent?
So, starting with any patent where would we find ourselves after 6 steps through the references cited network? Today explore the patent network with everyone’s favorite nerd badge, the calculator wristwatch.
Six Degrees of the Calculator Wristwatch
Start: US 3,955,355 A, an electronic calculator wristwatch
First Degree: US 4,887,249 A, a digital wristwatch to display speed, distance, and pedaling cadence when temporarily attached to a holder on the bicycle handlebar
Second Degree: US 3,999,050 A, an electronic diary
Third Degree: US 4,455,100 A, a pocket sized check writing device
Fourth Degree: US 3,94,0758 A, an expandable keyboard for pocket calculators
Fifth Degree: US D630,607 S1, a mobile phone
Sixth Degree: US D612,847 S1, a touchscreen recipe book
So there you have it, in 6 steps you can connect a calculator wristwatch with the future of cooking. While this journey represents one connection path for the calculator wristwatch, feel free to follow your own path of patent connection intrigue and share it in the comments section below. Have a suggestion for an inventor or invention you would like to see in the Six Degrees post? Share that in the comments too!