You have a great idea and hope to make millions from it. But first, you have to make sure your idea hasn’t been thought of by anyone else before. If you’re like most people, you’ll use the United States Patent and Trademark Office search tool to conduct a US patent search. But now, there’s an easier way to find out if a patent exists for intellectual property. That alternative is brought to you by the most used search engine in the world – Google.
On July 16, Google announced the launch of a new version of its patent search, designed to simplify all types of patent searches. In addition, the single search interface incorporates Google Scholar and its stand-alone Prior Art Finder for a more comprehensive search.
As a big data indexer, Google focused on making patent searches quick and effortless, both from a user interface and functionality standpoint. The Google Search Patents tool was purposely designed for ease of use, both for inventors who never looked into patents before, as well as patent research experts.
Features of the new and improved US patent search include:
- A simplified interface, with one location for all patent searching.
- Intuitive search fields.
- Search results for patent applications and patents issued presented in logical clusters or groupings for easy viewing.
- The ability to drill down to view key technical areas or refine a search with additional parameters or keywords without having any knowledge of cooperative patent classifications (CPC).
- The Prior Art Finder that allows users to see if an idea has ever been represented or previously patented.
- The Google Scholar visual tool for vertical searches on academic research, scientific books, and additional scholarly literature.
- An expanded search to include patents from other countries.
- Search results that match your keywords in other languages than what you are searching in through the use of Google Translate. As such, you can search foreign patent documents using keywords in your native language.
Unlike the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s search that requires users to understand enough about patents and how they are interpreted to put in the right search string to find exactly what they are looking for, Google uses various search fields that are more typical to what the general public encounters with basic and advanced searches.
The search application looks and performs just like Google search, except for the Google Patents page title to designate the different search engine. Users simply enter a search term or phrase to see if a patent exists for a specific innovation. The search engine returns a results page, complete with an image of the intellectual property and a brief description.
An actual patent filing page, as shown in the above screenshot, organizes the abstract, images, description and claims sections of a patent application in a manner that is easy to read on any size computer or mobile device screen. An overview box features key information about the filing, including the publication number, legal status, publication type, application number, publication date, filing date, priority date, inventors, original assignee, export citation, the number of references and classifications, and external links, including a link to the patent application on the US Patent & Trademark Office’s database.
In making the announcement, Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents, and Ian Wetherbee, software engineer for Google Patents, stated, “Good patents support innovation while bad patents hinder it. Bad patents drive up costs for innovative companies that must choose between paying undeserved license fees or staggering litigation costs. That’s why today we are excited to launch a new version of Google Patents, which has the power to improve patent quality by helping experts and the public find the most relevant references for judging whether a patent is valid.”
Of course, if you don’t want to do the US patent search yourself, Lonestar Patent Services provides a free patent search service as part of our Invention Analysis evaluation of your product idea. With our services, a U.S. registered patent attorney will verify patentability and implement advanced legal safeguards to ensure your patent is bulletproof against competitor redesigns.
To get us started conducting your free patent search, simply contact us today.