Google launches Patents Search

Oooops, sorry, it hasn’t. Google’s service only searches the 7 million patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). I am sorry if this sounds tedious and boring to a lot of you, but those of us outside of the US are fed up with Google announcing services that imply they are world-wide when they are not. There is also the issue that the database Google uses for this does NOT, as Gary Price has pointed out (see below), include pre-grant published applications that are published before a US patent is or is not awarded.

Searching patents databases requires a knowledge of the legislation in each country, the terminology used in patents and the best databases and sources of information to use (most of them priced, I’m afraid). What is very worrying about Google’s patent search is that many budding inventors and entrepreneurs around the world may think that Google is searching and finding everything that is relevant when it isn’t.

If you just want to track down a copy of a known US patent, then this is fine – well, actually, I would go direct to the USPTO rather than use Google. If your search is business-critical and you have to know if anyone, anywhere in the world has already invented an energy generating machine based on cat-purr power then hire a patent search specialist!

More detailed reviews of Google’s patent search are available at the following:

Greg Notess – Google Launches Patents Database

Gary Price’s Resource Shelf

Search Engine Land –