by Dennis Crouch
Two updates on Google's patent search tools:
- EU patents are now available; fully searchable; and automatically translated.
- Google has implemented a new prior art search button that attempts to identify the ten most relevant prior art documents in its search database. In my 10–minute test, the identified prior art did not appear to be directly on-point. Of course, my criticism likely suffers from the Nirvana fallacy. Every prior art search methodology suffers from major deficiencies. The proper question for Google's tools is whether the new system has a role in the patenting process. At minimum, it is likely an improvement on the quick pre-filing “sanity check” searches that are often conducted by patent applicants and patent attorneys. In its press release, Google indicated that the company will “be refining and extending the Prior Art Finder as [it] develop[s] a better understanding of how to analyze patent claims and how to integrate the results into the workflow of patent searchers.”