Google Patents might not be the most exciting of Google's search products, but it's one that's essential in realizing Google's mission of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful. However, the world is made up of more than just a half-dozen countries, which is why Google has just announced that it's adding 11 new countries to its patent database, bringing the total to 17 patent offices around the globe.

Users will now be able to search for patents from Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Belgium, Russia, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, and Luxembourg, in addition to those from the patent offices of the United States, Europe, China, WIPO, Germany, and Canada. Fortunately, these patents have also been translated using Google Translate, making it simple for virtually any potential inventor to go through the archive. Hopefully, a larger database of patents might also help to protect companies from patent trolls by allowing prior art to be more easily accessible to the public.