Conducting an advanced Google patent search is highly recommended before you consider the filing process. If you have never conducted a patent search before, here is what you need to know in order to protect your idea or invention.

Google Patent Search

Over the years, Google has been no stranger to the world of patents. Being a creator, a buyer, litigator, and big data indexer, this tech company now offers an advanced Google patent search. Google Patents, launched in 2006, is a patent search engine developed by Google. It offers the ability to search over a dozen patent offices and through millions of different patents. Additionally, Google has incorporated data from all around the world, making it one of the most useful international online patent searches.

Previously, this area of technology was overly complex, often confusing, and flooded with irrelevant data. The goal of Google's new patent search is to maintain simplicity. Considering there were more than 600,000 applications filed in 2014, user interface and functionality were key areas of interest to the designers. This has resulted in an advanced Google patent search that is easy to use, especially for the general public.

This is not the first time that Google has altered its patent search. Google tweaked its patent search in 2012, but this new experience is closer to the original. Although Google did incorporate patents into their basic web searches in 2012, this did not mean that the company was no longer interested in or committed to patent-specific searches.

In fact, Google has been expanding their search over the past few years, focusing on patents from other countries. All associated updates cover the following three areas:

  • The first area they addressed was the single search interface. Both patents and prior art will be integrated. This will allow users to effectively search whether or not their idea has been patented or used in the past.
  • Google Scholar will be utilized in terms of academic research and patent-related articles.
  • Finally, Google is now focusing more on big data, providing results in clusters. This will make it easier to identify themes within your search results.

Patents: A How-to-Find Guide

Whether you are an entrepreneur or inventor, you can cut your costs by conducting your own advanced Google patent search. However, if you lack experience, please be mindful of the potential consequences. An inventor may conduct a search and not find any information related to their idea — but that does not mean that it's not already patented. Unlike an inexperienced inventor, a professional searcher may find things that their client missed.

Everyone is recommended to conduct their own research, but before you spend thousands of dollars on a patent, you need to make sure that you have all the information you need to confidently take action. For those who would like to begin their search, you will need to learn key strategies while utilizing free tools. In addition, please be mindful of the following:

  • Older patents (those registered before 1976) are not accessible electronically during a standard patent search.
  • If you know the patent number, this will be the key to accessing the information you require. This applies to patents between the years 1790 and 1975.
  • Manufactured objects typically showcase a patent number. This can be used to access a specific product's relevant information.
  • If you do have access to the patent number, an advanced Google patent search will pull up the information you seek. You can also visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) site. This will typically be offered in the form of a free PDF.
  • Without a patent number, you can still conduct a search based on a topic or inventor.

If you are interested in a more comprehensive search, focusing on patents issued in or before 1975, you will need the following things:

  • Issue date
  • Patent number
  • Current US classification

These will be searchable via the USPTO website. When using an advanced Google patent search, knowing the patentee or assignee can be very useful. Also, note that only when using the advanced option can you specify the 'field' you would like to search.

If you do not have a specific patent in mind, you can search based on the subject of an invention. This can be accomplished by:

  • Searching the Google patent site by using keywords.
  • Utilizing USPTO resources via the 7-Step U.S. Patent Search Strategy.
  • Conducting a search via a research database. For example, PubMed would be ideal for a medical patent.

What is the Basic Information in a Google Patent Search?

Some of the information available from a Google Patent search includes:

  • When the patent expired or expires
  • The legal status of a patent
  • The application number
  • The specific claims made in the patent
  • The full description of the patent
  • The owner (both the current and the original)
  • The abstract (a description of the claims of the patent)
  • The citations within the patent
  • The date the patent was granted

What Is Included in a Google Patent Search?

In order to perform a more comprehensive search, some users will include Google Scholar data in their search. This option can be easily enabled from the Google Patents homepage. Remember to check it before performing the search.

How to Use Google Patent Search

The Advanced Patent Search feature allows users to research with advanced options within Google Patents. Specifically, users are able to search by:

  • Current patents
  • Specific country
  • Specific inventor

Although not as sleek as the standard Google patents search, it does allow users to filter criteria to create a more specific search. Users may drill even further by filtering results by language, patent type, etc.

Users searching for patents, especially ones who have invented a product, will have further options available online. Older patents may not have as much data online because these patents were most likely put into the USPTO database as scanned images. The patent number is the golden ticket to the patent database because they're easily searchable. Remember, the Patent Office website provides a help section which allows users to learn how to use the search features of the online site.

Visit either the Espacenet or Google Patent websites to research patents issued after 1975. These sites will allow you to search and obtain the entire text of the patent regardless of the subject or assignee. The advanced screen in Google Patent allows users to specify the specific field that they'd like to search in. If you're aware of the subject matter of the invention, you may easily search Google Patent. In cases where you may not know the patent number or would merely like to search for patents by subject, you may:

Search the Espacenet or Google Patent site using a keyword. Use the 7-Step U.S. Patent Search Strategy to search the USPTO database. Search another research database for a distinct discipline and limit the search results to only patents (e.g., PubMed for medical patents, or SciFinder for chemical patents.)

What Are the Areas Covered by the Update on Google Patent Search?

Many online patent searches may be difficult to complete. In order to successfully find the information that you are looking for, many websites require you to know how to “read” a patent. Google has simplified the process by dividing up the search criteria into different fields. This format is similar to advanced searches that users may experience on other websites.

Google Scholar already had a way of searching for patent-related articles, accessible by ticking a small box at the bottom of the search window. However, Google has recently revamped the way users can carry out patent searches by looking at the process from an entirely new perspective. Their goal was to emphasize big-data searches. With the causal patent-searcher in mind, Google Patents now presents the results in organized clusters, by using logical groups that make researching easier and more simplified.

The database indexed by Google Patents references patents from over a dozen different patent offices including the USPTO and some from countries other than the United States. The database is expansive, covering patents that are as old as the very first patent, called “US Patent No. 1.”

Currently, Google is highlighting an established feature that offers great results but isn't widely well-known. While many art and patent documents in the database may be from international sources, Google Translate allows for a thorough search in multiple languages. If you are researching a patent in English, you can access results from other regions that correlate with your keywords. Another update to the Google Patent search is that the link to discuss patents on Stack Exchange has disappeared. At this time, the Stack Exchange Link can now be found in the “External Links” section labeled under “Discuss.”

Google continues to partner with IFI Claims to acquire some data for its patent information portal. The Google Patent Advanced Search page allows you to search by several methods, including:

  • Patent number
  • Topic
  • Inventor
  • Assignee
  • Date
  • Classification number

You can access the Google Patent search for free through patents.google.com.

In 2015, Google released a new patent search feature which allowed results to be based on the Cooperative Patent Classification System (CPC) whenever possible. The CPC was developed from a partnership between the USPTO and the European Patent Office (EPO). Their goal was to create a common, internationally compatible classification system for all technical documents, specifically patent publications. This would simplify the patent granting process for both offices.

Google has contributed data from other countries making the search engine a powerful, international tool for patent searches. Countries with patent data currently in the database include:

  • United States
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • China
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom
  • Other countries

The update also includes “WO” patents, which is also referred to as World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). WIPO patents are international patents that are recognized by several countries by a United Nations treaty. Remember, Google now allows you to access a summary of the patent claims or view the entire image. Additionally, users can download a PDF of an individual patent or search for specific art.

CPC

CPC is an acronym for the Cooperative Patent Classifications.

CPC Version

Version 2018.01 of the CPC scheme is now live and accessible to all users.

What Does the New CPC Version cover?

This updated version allows users to add synonyms and search terms, which filter information by many ways, including:

  • Date
  • Assignee
  • Inventor
  • Patent office
  • Language
  • Citing patent
  • Filing status
  • CPC class

What Is the Evolution of Google Patent Search?

Previously, Google Patents only contained information from the USPTO which was a part of the public domain.

If you need help conducting an advanced Google patent search, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.