Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Google Patent Search, Does No Evil?

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on December 14, 2006

Google has now released a Patent Search service, located at http://www.google.com/patents.  We’ve had a few minutes to run the service through the gauntlet, and here are our thoughts.

This service is free, and free is always good.  The default screen also allows a simple keyword search of over 7 million patents (or so they say).  The keyword search appears to look at both titles and the text of the specification, which is a nice feature.  The interface is the standard Google search interface, and appears to be very user-friendly. 

Digging a little deeper, the advanced service allows a search of patent numbers, titles, inventors, assignees, U.S. classifications, international classifications, issue dates (in a range), and filing dates (in a range).  We would have liked to have seen, however, the advanced service allow selective searching of claims, abstracts, and specifications. 

When a search is performed, a patent summary is provided allowing a view (non-pdf) of each page and also a view of all drawings.  In more recently filed cases, the claims and a list of patents referenced by is also provided.  Another notable feature we’ve seen in our brief review is a text searching function that pinpoints particular pages in the document where a term or phrase can be found.

Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a function that allows one to download a pdf or print a patent.   Also, the database appears to be limited to U.S. patents, and not U.S. publications or foreign patents and publications.  These are my primary gripes about the service, and maybe they’ll be added in subsequent versions. 

At the end of the day, it is certainly nice to drop a new patent tool in the toolbox.  We may try it out a few times in upcoming matters to see if it is worth using on a more regular basis, and we will post further on the subject if we have any further thoughts. 

4 Responses

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  1. anonymous said, on December 14, 2006 at 7:53 pm

    You forgot to mention the Google Patent Search allows full text searching of text and drawings back to 1790 — something that no one else provides.

  2. Jake Ward said, on December 14, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    Anonymous makes a good point . . . the full text searching of pre-1976 patents is a definite advantage over the USPTO database. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Jake Ward said, on December 14, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    After looking at the full text search function further, I’ve noticed that the keywords being searched are actually highlighted on the pre-1976 document! A very nice feature.

  4. Jake Ward said, on June 11, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Also see our post on the updated Google Patent Search tool here: https://anticipatethis.wordpress.com/2007/05/17/google-patent-search-does-no-evil-update/ .


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