Last Wednesday, Google announced in its blog that they had released Google Patent Search, which allows to search in over 7 million patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from 1790 through the middle of 2006. In the announcement they also stated that they are looking forward to increasing the coverage of this tool and that they are working on saving and printing this patents. Advanced Search can be done using the Advanced Patent Search page or as explained in Monkey Bites, by means of specific keywords such as
The main difference among this new tool and the existing free search service of USPTO is that the latter only supports full text search for patents issued in 1976 and onwards. It has to be noticed that there are also several paid tools that provide advanced patent search features.
Consequently, this new tool could be useful not only for academics and researchers (Patents are commonly used to measure innovation) but also for innovators and inventors. Nevertheless, initially I would use this tool carefully as it seems that not all patents may be returned when searching in Google Patent Search (via Paul Kedrosky’s blog).
Finally and for those of you not so interested in this “serious” uses of this tool, you may want to check Wired post on this subject which points out some “cool” patents.