Thursday, December 14, 2006

Google Patents

I found this via digg. Seems Google wanted to give the USPTO a little help. I'll let the experts at OSU decide if it's any good.

Google Patents
Q. Where does this patent data come from?
A. All patents available through Google Patent Search come from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Patents issued in the United States are public domain government information, and images of the entire database of U.S. patents are readily available online via the USPTO website.

Q. What types of patents are available?
A. Google Patent Search covers the entire collection of patents made available by the USPTO—from patents issued in the 1790s through those issued in the middle of 2006. We don’t currently include patent applications, international patents, or U.S. patents issued over the last few months, but we look forward to expanding our coverage in the future.

Q. How many U.S. patents are there?
A. To date, the USPTO has issued approximately 7 million patents.

Q. How does it work?
A. Using the same technology that powers Google Book Search, Google has converted the entire image database of U.S. patents into a format that’s easy to search. You can search the full text of U.S. patents from the Google Patent Search homepage, or visit the Advanced Patent Search page to search by criteria like patent number, inventor, and filing date.

Q. How do you rank patents in the search results?
A. As with Google Web Search, we rank patent results according to their relevance to a given search query. We use a number of signals to evaluate how relevant each patent is to a user's query, and we determine our results algorithmically.

Q. Is Google hosting the patent pages?
A. Yes. We’re providing an easy way to find and read these patents.

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