Google Patents is a search engine from Google that indexes patents and patent applications from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), European Patent Office (EPO), and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). These documents include the entire collection of granted patents and published patent applications from each database (which belong to the public domain). US patent documents date back to 1790, EPO and WIPO to 1978. All 8 million patents have been put in the database. Optical character recognition (OCR) has been performed on the pages to make them searchable. This searchability includes all US patents and published patent applications.
History and background Edit
The service was launched on December 14, 2006. Google says it uses "the same technology as that underlying Google Books", allowing scrolling through pages, and zooming in on areas. The images are saveable as PNG files.
Early review and criticisms Edit
The indexing is not perfect. Reportedly, as of December 14, 2006, not all IBM patents were locatable, as searching for IBM patents retrieved only 1,197 results on Google Patents, but that IBM received nearly 3,000 patents in 2005 alone.
In terms of response time, the performance of Google Patents was considered in 2007 to be very good.
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