Google Patent Search: Wake Up Call for Derwent and TotalPatent

July 17, 2015

Patent documents are not something that high school students read. To be more accurate, patent documents are confections of legalese and engineering incantations read by those [a] paid to read them or [b] folks who have a dog in the fight.

The Google was not into patents in its Backrub days. That changed over time. Now the Google is inventing its way to a Great Wall of China patent fence.

Along the way, the Google hit upon the idea that some patent documents could be scanned and made searchable. The public version of the service became available in 2006. You can explore the collection at Google Patent Search.

After nine years of Google style evolution, the system includes US, European, and World Intellectual Property Organization documents.

The system returns results without ads. I ran a query for Sergey Bring and received this list of results. I noticed that some documents do not show a thumbnail of the document image. In my experience, some functions work; others do not. Glitch or feature?

I read “Google’s New, Simplified Patent Search Now Integrates Prior Art And Google Scholar.”

The write up points out that Google Patents includes information germane to the user’s query from Google Scholar and “results of Prior Art.” I read:

The idea is that the new patent search will be easier to use both by experts in the field as well as the general public to look for patents and related materials. Given the rising interest in safeguarding IP among developers and founders who may have never had to consider patents much before, this could prove to be especially useful.

When I click on a patent, I see additional options:


The “find prior art” button displays:


The service is likely to get some tire kicking by those interested in patents.

My take on the new service is that the Google may have an opportunity to generate some fresh revenues.

Patent searches conducted on the for fee services from Thomson Reuters and Reed Elsevier can be expensive. There are also some useful “free” services such as

The Google with a bit of effort can add some bells and whistles and charge for them. For the “free” crowd, the Google can continue to integrate open source content, not just books and references to scholarly literature. Prior art often has a generous embrace.

For the for fee crowd, the Google can add the types of entity functions, among other advanced features, that the for fee services offer.

In short, the Google may be looking at the hundreds of millions of revenue available from those with a must have motivation and add some functions that make advertisers sit up and take notice. Maybe the USPTO would consider the Google as a source for its search technology.

I see this development as an important one because the GOOG can make some waves in a market most humans know little about. Think of the ads the Google can run for student debt advice.

My question remains, “Why has Google been so slow to take advantage of market niches in which complacent competitors and providers of free services have been slow to innovate?”

Stephen E Arnold, July 17, 2015


One Response to “Google Patent Search: Wake Up Call for Derwent and TotalPatent”

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