Search Patents Via Google

Try the new Google Patent Search here. Advanced search here.

DDC Comments: The greatest benefit is that pre-1976 patents are now text-searchable.  This is huge for historians, but I suspect that we will now see more citations based on these older documents. Google searches are very fast as compared to other search engines.  One problem: Google is best at finding the top-twenty references related to your search.  Google is much worse at doing exhaustive searches.  Thus, if you want to find every patent that mentions a certain term, you will probably not be successful (at this point) with the Google Patent Search.  Finally, Google does not yet have a link to the PDF version of the document.

Please try out the search and leave your own comments below.

Other useful free patent search engines:

25 thoughts on “Search Patents Via Google

  1. 25

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  3. 23

    Just looking for some information on free patent search engines and I found this post. Does anyone have any more information to update this? I’m interested in finding a reliable free patent search engine, or if that’s not possible a relatively cheap search engine that offers high value. Any suggestions?

  4. 22

    Another excellent site for patent searching is WikiPatents has the largest database of patents open for public comment on the internet, allows PDF downloading of patents, free patent translation into multiple languages, and additional information and resources.



  5. 21

    It would be interesting if they could provide a relevancy ranking based on claim breadth to distinguish fundamental from incremental patents (i.e. filter broad patents to the top of the list).

  6. 20

    Claim trees and claim charts (both support and challenge charts) are available for the Elk patent analysis tool presently free as a beta program at

    It would be nice if Google picked up the site.

    Rich Cooper, CTO
    MetaSemantics Corporation
    Rich at EnglishLogicKernel dot com

  7. 19

    It’s a beta. Hence it will have many faults, irregularities and inconsistencies – kind of like a US provisional… Final decisions whether Google Patent will be a comprehensive and useful resource should probably be deferred until (and if?) a working version is published.
    In the meantime, the visualizations, layout, general user interface are nicely done!

  8. 18

    One key thing that Google lacks, and that is required to make full text searching time-efficient for any kind of technical purpose, is proximity searching.

    Open-source abstracting & indexing / folksonomy also would make Google far more viable as a technical search engine.

  9. 16

    No, not good at all for now…

    Could not find my own patent issued in early October of this year – I guess their database is not up to date.
    When I searched on some specific technical terms the results were more than dissappointing: not a single important patent known to all the people in the field came up in the first pages of search results.

  10. 15

    Great presentation. The fact that it only covers US issued patents ending mid 2006, which is a long time back, and no applications means that you need to look at a number of other resources to have any confidence using free searching. Having older US patents is good. It takes a lot to beat Espacenet though which covers a range of countries. Now it would be useful if it were added to the patent databases you could link to from TACSY link to It would really demonstrate a committement to free availability which is something that entrepreneurs need.

  11. 14

    Another case of the promise (and press release) being far ahead of the reality.

    As this article over at explains, and a quick analysis by Bill Slawiki demonstrates, anyone involved in serious patent work must quickly dismiss this “service” :

    link to

  12. 12

    Another problem is that it confuses foreign patents cited as U.S. patents — see for example U.S. Patent 6,930,086 (Diglycosylated erythropoietin) — Google thinks its citing and thus shows links to BOTTLE-WASHER (1889) MACHINE FOE FOLDING AND STITCHING THE EDGES OF CANVAS (1889) and BRIDLE BIT (1900) etc.

  13. 10

    I tried a simple query and it didn’t work. All it was was a few classifications and a few terms, plus a date range. Google turned up 0 patents whereas Delphion turned up several. Looks like they still need to work the kinks out.

  14. 9

    Very nice. I want to make one remark on the tool’s readability. I love it. Finally, a visually appealing modularized approach to presenting a patent.

    Wish List:

    1. Add a Folksonomy. Give user the ability to tag applications. This should be fairly straightforward and would be a signifcant breakthrough with respect to focused patent research. The formula is:

    Google Notebook + Google Bookmark + Google Patent =

    The best patent research tool on the web.

    2. Claim chart Generator.

    3. Claim Tree Generator.

    4. PatentRank (Addition to the Folsonomy tool)

  15. 7

    The accuracy of the OCR on the patent images is not reliable. For example, patent number 1,500,000 is entitled “SUBMERSIBLE VESSEL FOR NAVIGATION UNDER ICE,” but Google lists “SUBMERSIBLE VESSEL TOB NAVIGATION UNDEB ICE” as its title. I would be interested to know whether Google OCRs the patents after 1976 even though the text is readily available from the USPTO. I believe that “farming” the text directly from the USPTO would be more accurate than applyning OCR to the images.

    In any case, even with the OCR limitations, it is nice to have the ability to run text searches on patents pre-1976.

  16. 6

    At last, full text searching of pre 1970 US patents.

    Access to applications would be nice. Even better would be to put up file wrappers with full text searching.

    How are they going to monetize this?

  17. 4

    Obviously, we’ll update the search as fast as we can get the data 🙂
    I’ll bug someone about the ibm stuff.
    Search on delphion shows that there about 100 different spellings being used, and they are normalizing them all to the same name.
    Without having stared at the code, my guess is we aren’t.

  18. 3

    Patents issued this week apparently are not yet available, as Google’s design patent that issued Tuesday (D533,561) does not appear. I wonder how quickly they’ll update their database as new patents issue.

  19. 2

    1. Running a search for IBM or “International Business Machines” in the assignee field yields only 1197 hits. IBM claims to have many more than that and asserts that it received nearly 3000 in 2005 alone. link to

    2. As I believe you’ve pointed out sometime in the past, will give you free PDFs.

  20. 1

    I know there are a lot of free patent sources out there, but I think Micropatent, despite the subscription costs, is the most helpful and useful.

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