Introduction to Google Patents
Google Patents Search (www.google.com/patents/)
is a free online patent search tool that inventors, entrepreneurs
and businesses can use. Google Patents is currently in beta stage,
however it can provide a very useful supplementary online patent search.
Google Patent Search uses its Google Book Search technology to recognize the
text in U.S. patent documents making them easy to search.
Patent Documents Searched with Google Patents
Google Patents allows you to search for the following types of patent
- Granted U.S. Patents
- U.S. Published Patent Applications
The patent data available through Google Patent Search is from the U.S.
Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Google specifies on its website
that the patent data includes patents issued from the 1790s through
those recently issued in the past few months (i.e. you may not be
searching the most recently issued patents).
Patent Documents Not Searched with Google
Google Patents does not search the following types of patent documents:
- International Patents
- International Published Patent Applications
- Recently Granted U.S. Patents*
- Recently Published U.S. Patent Applications*
* Google Patents appears to update its database
every other month so the data sometimes can be behind the USPTO data by a
couple of months or so. You should always check for the latest U.S.
patents and published patent applications at the USPTO.
If you need to search for international patent documents and the most
recently granted U.S. patent documents, consider using
PatentHunter which is a
commercial patent search tool created by Michael Neustel (includes a free 60
Google Patents v. USPTO Patent Search
While Google Patents provides an easy to use search interface for
searching United States patents and published patent applications, Google
Patents sometimes does not appear to always be updated with the latest
patent documents (i.e. you sometimes cannot access the latest granted
patents or published patent applications). Hence, the advantage of the
USPTO patent search is that you will have the most current data offered by
the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. However, Google Patents should not
be overlooked since it does provide a very good search interface for
beginners and can be used as a supplement to the USPTO patent search.
Advantages of Google Patents
- Easy to use patent search interface for beginners.
- Convenient access to patent images in PDF format.
- See important keywords directly in the PDF patent document.
- Fast search engine and fast downloads of PDF patent documents.
Disadvantages of Google Patents
- No international patents.
- Sometimes does not include the most recent U.S. patents or published
- Some words in patent documents are not OCR'd correctly.