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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: patent search, patents, prior art, uspto
Companies: google

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. icon
    Seegras (profile), 17 Jul 2015 @ 1:17am

    Re: STOP!

    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".

Add Your Comment

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

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.