Earlier today, Google rolled out a brand new feature for its online patent research tool: prior art search. Now, while looking at a patent, you can click a single button to pull up a host of results from Google Patents, Google Scholar, Google Books, with a bit of Google's typical search results sprinkled on top. The goal, of course, is to aid in researching whether a patent that's been filed is "new and not obvious." Which is far more complex than it sounds.


Reading between the lines, one could possibly infer that Google wants to make it easier on its partners (or itself) to prove their inventions are unique, or to avoid infringing patents that have already been granted (which is different from a patent that has been filed, mind you). That being said, while it might expedite the process a bit for researchers doing grunt work, you can bet that the net effect won't be substantial. In cases like the current Samsung vs. Apple, neither party would present significantly different evidence if they'd had access to this tool. The information is already available, Google's just making it simpler to find.

Speaking of information that's already available, Google's also adding the European Patent Office to its databases. The search giant has also been using the EPO to help make Google Translate better by comparing the same patents in different languages, so it's no surprise that the data is finally being integrated with the Google Patents tool.

Source: Google Inside Search Blog

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Greyhame

    I friggin' LOVE your article headlines!! Good stuff.

  • Zaeem Shahzad

    No comments?

    Er... "screw Apple" is always a popular comment! :)

  • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

    oooh if this wasn't a dig at Apple, I don't know what is

  • http://www.facebook.com/kam.w.siu Kam Siu

    oblivious if google search engines said it was so, it must be true!

    Judge Koh ....{i just became obsolete}

  • Bariman43

    Anyone know what legal mumbo jumbo for "portable tablet computer" is?

  • Evan Olfert

    I searched "rectangular phone with rounded corners" and from what I saw Apple doesn't have much of a case...

  • http://twitter.com/magiman7 magiman7

    Maybe this is Google's way of helping out the US (and others?) patent office to make wiser decisions before granting ridiculous patents.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=714859472 Rajvir Singh

    Can anyone tell me the Patent no. or give me a link for the "iPad design Patent", I need to EDUCATE my Apple fanboy friends about that ridiculous patent...

    • Brfield

      I believe you are looking for
      Patent number: D504889