Google’s Improved Patent Search

by Dennis Crouch

Two updates on Google’s patent search tools:

  1. EU patents are now available; fully searchable; and automatically translated.
  2. Google has implemented a new prior art search button that attempts to identify the ten most relevant prior art documents in its search database.  In my 10–minute test, the identified prior art did not appear to be directly on-point. Of course, my criticism likely suffers from the Nirvana fallacy.  Every prior art search methodology suffers from major deficiencies.  The proper question for Google’s tools is whether the new system has a role in the patenting process.  At minimum, it is likely an improvement on the quick pre-filing “sanity check” searches that are often conducted by patent applicants and patent attorneys. In its press release, Google indicated that the company will “be refining and extending the Prior Art Finder as [it] develop[s] a better understanding of how to analyze patent claims and how to integrate the results into the workflow of patent searchers.”

8 thoughts on “Google’s Improved Patent Search

  1. 7

    In case anybody is wondering…….

    The European Patent Office is NOT an EU institution. The “European Patent Organisation” has 38 Member States, far more than the EU. The European Parliament is currently considering the newest proposal for an EU-wide unitary utility patent right. Some members of the EU Parliament don’t like patents for computer-implemented inventions.

    Conversely, the EU does issue EU-wide unitary TM registrations and design patents, out of its “Office for the Harmonisation of the Internal Market” in Alicante on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

    Dennis might have been referring to EU Design Patents but somehow I think he and Google are referring instead to EPO utility patents. Google and the EPO have been for some time in a contractual relationship, to translate the EPO’s entire output.

  2. 5

    “EU patents are now available”

    Really? Google would be more diligent than the European Parliament ?

  3. 3

    Weirdly enough, if you Google “google patent prior art search” the first hit is not a link to Google’s prior art search page.

    Anyone have a linky?

  4. 2

    What happens to the information “released into the public” by conducting such searches (actual Office patent searches are supposed to be controlled to protect such potential misuse)? Is Google tracking seach parameters and results? Is someone mining the data?

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