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Viagra, which is a trade name for the drug sildenafil, has been a major bestseller for Pfizer earning it up to US$2 billion annually. Sildenafil was originally tested for use in dealing with hypertension, but the side effects on penile erections were soon noticed. 

The first patent for sildenafil was US5250534, which was filed in 1992, expired in 2012 and covered sildenafil itself, but neither of its two family members cover its effect on erectile disfunction or impotence. Pfizer followed up this up with US6469012, filed in 1994 for Pyrazolopyrimidinones for the treatment of impotence and hence clearly targeted at impotence. Equivalents to US6469012 have been filed in a number of other countries, including in Europe and as a PCT patent. US6469012 is slated to expire in 2019. 

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We have developed a metric that lets you predict the licensing potential of a patent. The benefit of this metric is that it is possible to efficiently review a large set of results to look for identify the most likely licensee. Below we demonstrate the value by example of a hybrid car case study, as well as a patent sucessfully asserted for more than a billion dollars in damages. 

The use of forward patent citations to predict potential licensing candidates is relatively well-known. Ambercite has also discussed this previously, including extending this to counting the number of forward citation patents owned by target companies, or identifying the most similar patents to the patents being licensed out.

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