It’s been announced by Google that the Google Patent Search algorithm, interfaces and features has been upgraded in order to help the growing number of patent applications, as well as the growing number of litigation around patents.
According to Google’s Allen Lo, the Deputy General Counsel for Patents, and Ian Wetherbee, the Software Engineer for Google Patents,
“Bad patents drive up costs for innovative companies that must choose between paying undeserved license fees or staggering litigation costs.”
“Patent filings have steadily increased with 600,000 applications filed and 300,000 patents issued in 2014 alone. At the same time, litigation rates are continuing their dramatic climb, with patent trolls bringing the majority of cases, hitting companies of every size in industries from high-tech to main street.”
This is the reason Google updated their Patent Search database to include Prior Art and Google Scholar citations. Google Patent Search uses non-patent prior art by cataloging it, while utilizing the same scheme that applies to patents. The interface has also been simplified by Google by providing one location for all patent-related searching and “intuitive search fields.”
According to Google,
“We hope this tool will make patent examination more efficient and help stop bad patents from issuing which would be good for innovation and benefit the public.”
Here are a couple screen shots that show off the new home page and search results: