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Google Scholar: an Introduction to Google Scholar: Patents

Use this guide to help you begin your research using the search engine Google Scholar!

Patents

With Google Patents, you can now search the full text of the U.S. patent corpus and find patents that interest you.

The results page looks different. What changed?

In May 2011, the display of Google Patents search pages was changed to look more like regular Google web search. In addition to the new look, Google Patents now supports Google Instant and spelling auto-correction.

Where does this patent data come from?

All patents available through Google Patents come from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Patents issued in the United States are public domain documents, and images of the entire database of U.S. patents are readily available online via the USPTO website.

See also the direct search engine for Patents via Google: http://www.google.com/patents.

More about Patents

diagram of a patented item

What types of patents are available?

Google Patents covers the entire collection of issued patents and millions of patent application made available by the USPTO, from patents issued in the 1790s through the present. International patents are not included at this time but may be included in the future.

How many U.S. patents are there?

To date, the USPTO has made available approximately 8 million patents and 3 million patent applications.

How does it work?

Using the same technology that powers Google Book Search, Google has converted the entire image database of U.S. patents into a format that’s easy to search. You can search the full text of U.S. patents from the Google Patents homepage, or visit the Advanced Patents search page to search by criteria like patent number, inventor, and filing date.

How do you rank patents in the search results?

As with Google Web Search, patent results are rated according to their relevance to a given search query. Google uses a number of signals to evaluate how relevant each patent is to a user’s query and determines the results algorithmically.

Downloading Patent Information

Can I download a PDF of a patent I’ve found in Google Patents?

Yes, by simply clicking the “Download PDF” button on the patent’s About page. You can find this button under the patent summary section for each patent in our index.

Why does Google offer bulk downloads of patent and trademark information?

Google and the US Patent and Trademark Office have partnered to provide bulk file downloads of patent and trademark information to everyone, for free. This information is also available on a file-by-file basis from the USPTO website, or for bulk download on CDs, DVDs, or digital tape, with fees to cover the USPTO’s expenses (often more than $10,000 and potentially up to $250,000). Many major law firms and research organizations rely on bulk file downloads so they can do more comprehensive analysis of the data. Now anyone can get the information for free by visiting http://www.google.com/googlebooks/uspto.html.

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