Last week we discussed the Patent Reform bill that just passed so I thought I’d talk about Google’s Patent Search tool today. Why should you be interested?
- Research your idea for a product
- Lease certain technology from an inventor
- Learn more about an inventor
Google allows you to easily find just about any kind of information you might want within the (approximately) 8 million patents and 3 million patent applications on file at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). We’re talking anything from inventors to patent numbers to specific technologies; all the information is available for free. 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. (Here)
As part of Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, we’re constantly working to expand the diversity of content we make available to our users. With Google Patents, you can now search the full text of the U.S. patent corpus and find patents that interest you. – Google
Note: Google Patents is currently available in English, and it includes only U.S. patents.
Is Your Idea Already Patented?
If you have a great business or product idea, one of the first things you should do is find out if anybody else has already come up with and patented the idea.
All you need to do is type in a few keywords to search for the patent, just like you would for anything else. If your search doesn’t turn up any patents, then you have a good chance of being first.
Instead of spending the money to develop and patent a piece of technology you need, a cost-effective alternative would be to lease the technology instead. All you need to do is find out who owns the right to certain technologies. Google Patent Search! If you find the patent, you’ll also see who holds the rights to the patent. Plus you get contact information. Contact them to discuss the possibility of a patent leasing deal.
Learn More About Any Inventor
Are there products you’ve noticed that made you curious as to who created them? The Snuggie, perhaps, or the Vapur Flexible Water Bottle? Want to know what else they invented? It’s easy to find all the patents by that inventor using Google Patent Search. Just click the “Advanced Patent Search” link next to the general search box and type in the inventor’s name.
Maybe you’re designing a new product and could use some inspiration or you’re stuck on a specific engineering issue. Looking through past patent designs might just be the ticket! Just remember — any idea that you want to patent yourself, or use commercially, has to be sufficiently different from any past patent. Otherwise it won’t be considered for a patent.
Reviewing past patents is an excellent way to get inspired and come up with your own unique designs. But if you absolutely need to use a design in another inventor’s patent, consider leasing that part of the technology.
Can you see the advantages of using Google Patent Search? Have you thought about any of these ideas before?