Google Revamps Patent Search To Actually Do What Patent Office Should Do
from the pulling-in-more-info dept
A few years ago, Google seemed to downgrade its patent search features, pulling away a separate “Google Patents” section and mixing it back into the main Google search. This seemed like a major step backwards, especially given how terrible the US Patent Office’s own patent search engine was. Google has tried to do a few things like launching a “prior art finder” and teaming up with StackExchange to help crowdsource prior art. I’m not quite sure how well either program has gone, but Google has now upgraded its patent search efforts yet again to create a service that one would have hoped the patent office would have built itself, though it has not:
The new Google Patents helps users find non-patent prior art by cataloguing it, using the same scheme that applies to patents. We?ve trained a machine classification model to classify everything found in Google Scholar using Cooperative Patent Classification codes. Now users can search for ?autonomous vehicles? or ?email encryption? and find prior art across patents, technical journals, scientific books, and more.
We?ve also simplified the interface, giving users one location for all patent-related searching and intuitive search fields. And thanks to Google Translate, users can search for foreign patent documents using English keywords. As we said in our May 2015 comments on the PTO?s Patent Quality Initiative, we hope this tool will make patent examination more efficient and help stop bad patents from issuing which would be good for innovation and benefit the public.
Of course, it’s not clear if USPTO examiners are even allowed to use tools like this, but it seems like providing better tools to examiners, and widening the corpus that they’re allowed to search (right now they focus on past patents and limited journal searches) can only serve to stop at least some bogus patents from getting through.