Google Patents offers the user the possibility to search patents in their full text. This service was launched by Google in December 2006. For the time being, only US patents were scanned here. With an OCR scan, it was possible to search through the approximately 7 million patents recorded. OCR stands for “Optical Character Recognition” and enables the digital capture of written texts.
Google Patents expanded the database in August 2012 to include European patents filed with the European Patent Office. Since September 2013, the following patents and patent documents can also be viewed in the database:
Each user’s input via Google Patents is encrypted via HTTPS and thus anonymous. The search query is entered into a search window just like a regular Google search. Each document was made available in advance via the OCR scan text capture software, this allows each user to perform a full text search.
The Advanced Patent Search, which is displayed to the user on the left side of the search results page, allows the user to make more specific search queries. In the advanced search, several filters are available, which allow the user to search for patents in specific countries, to narrow down the time period, to sort by applicant or to filter specifically by classification number. If a searched patent is not available in the user’s language, it is possible to translate it into the desired language via Google Translate. If a patent is available in several languages, this can be easily retrieved.
Furthermore, Google Patents offers the possibility of the Prior Art Finder. This searches for earlier, similar inventions. Google makes use of all the resources it can offer the user:
This large-scale search can be very helpful in finding out whether an invention is really new and whether it has not yet been partially patented.
Searching for new patents via Google Patents should be done with caution, because often not all documents are available here. Only the initial document is available.
Google Patents provides a very broad view of patent documents. In total, the index consists of over 120 million intellectual property rights and applications.
The documents stored in the Google Patents index receive a wide range of information. These include:
In addition, the following data is stored for the search via Google Patents in order to guarantee findability:
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