Ever wonder who was granted the first U.S. patent? Or, perhaps, invented the bong? Google Patents, the seach engine firm’s latest addition, has the answer, along with millions of others — more than 7 million, the company claims, which would mean pretty much every drawing and diagram issued a mark since 1790.
The company launched the service to modest applause on Dec. 13. I say modest, because it’s hard to know exactly what problem it solves. Most of the search terms (see below) mimic those of the USPTO’s, although Google’s effort does appear somewhat more intuitive than the latter’s.
with all of the words
with the exact phrase
with at least one of the words
without the words
Return patents issued anytime
Return patents issued between
Return patents filed anytime Return patents filed between
It does appear Google is attempting to draw that much more traffic to its site, and that’s all fine and good. But it’s too early to rely on Google Patents as an authoritative resource, I think, based on some of the early critiques. You may hate patent attorneys, but they still serve a much-needed role.