How does Cipher match / group all the patents to a portfolio (e.g. an organisation)?

When you search for an organisation in Cipher, results are grouped to show all patents assigned to all entities including:

  • Subsidiaries
  • Acquired companies
  • Merged companies
  • Companies corrected for erroneous entries in the patent registry

Cipher uses proprietary software (correcting mistakes), software tools (suggesting similarly named companies for a human to then decide), outsourced manual checking, in-house manual checking and corporate organisation data to group organisations and entities, providing users with the best possible view of what patent assets an organisation owns.

In addition, Cipher also tracks pure patent transactions (companies buying or selling patents) via the USPTO.

How does Cipher identify comparable portfolios?

  • Cipher considers both the degree of cross over in technologies between the portfolios, and also the overall size of the portfolios, in order to find organisations that can be most usefully compared to the reference organisation.
  • Similarity is based on citation graphs and a similarity matrix i.e. asking how similar the reference company’s patents are to other patents and ultimately other organisations. If a patent directly cites another, we'd assign them a high similarity. If that 2nd patent cited a 3rd, we'd assign a slightly lower similarity between the 1st and 3rd patents, etc. So then once we have similarity scores between all patents, we then aggregate them by organisation.
  • Cipher creates two similarity lists in your report: “Similar size” and “Largest Relevant”. “Similar size” are organisations of roughly similar size with overlapping portfolios and “Largest Relevant” are the organisations with the highest number of overlapping patents regardless of size.

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