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.

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: google

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Google Revamps Patent Search To Actually Do What Patent Office Should Do”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Seegras (profile) says:


Of course google is better in patent research than the patent office.

a) they are pretty good at search
b) they have an interest to really find prior art

I don’t care what clueless congresspeople infer from that.
Last time I heard there’s a load of them that don’t care about science, and believe in things like “backdoors only law enforcements can use”, “global warming is not produced by human actions” and “intelligent design is a valable theory”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I would be willing to pay a subscription fee to this kind of service. If software patents are invalid, demonstrating a software only solution to a patent should invalidate said patent. Put dollar amounts on target patents and watch the world scramble to actually have to innovate again for the first time in decades.

Not an iSheeple says:

Why would this NOT be good?

Here is how this works for some of you too clueless to see. Google makes this, helps people find patents, shows it can be done better than the current Patent Office method and the Patent Office gets funding to upgrade their system to improve it. Google closes it’s system down because it’s no longer needed since the PO one of as good or better. Everyone wins. They’ve done it a few times before.

However, the down side is Apple would have to go back to coming up with new and innovative ideas again instead of just being patent trolls. Perfect example. Self driving cars. Google has been doing it for years, Apple now announces they will be doing it. Apple will patent something in them that all autonomous cars currently use and sue Google after altering the wording of an existing patent to be granted a new one by the iSheeple PO workers.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »