Google takes patent search tool to Europe


Google has rolled out its patent search across Europe, along with a number of new features to help budding inventors, entrepreneurs and brands check if their ideas have been copyrighted. The tool was initially launched in the US back in 2006, but the revamped service now includes ‘prior art search’. "Prior art" is a legal term for records of innovation that preceded a specific patent claim.


"Typically, patents are granted only if an invention is new and not obvious," Google engineering manager Jon Orwant said in a blog post. "To explain why an invention is new, inventors will usually cite prior art such as earlier patent applications or journal articles.

Prior Art Finder takes key phrases from existing patent listings and searches for them in Google Patents, Google Scholar and Google Books, as well as the rest of the Internet.

"Determining the novelty of a patent can be difficult, requiring a laborious search through many sources, and so we've built a Prior Art Finder to make this process easier," Orwent said.
The goal is to aid in researching whether a patent that's been filed is "new and not obvious."

In addition, Google has now added patents filed with the European Patent Office to its database of patents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

View the tool here

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