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December 14, 2006

Google's Patent Search : Some Suggestions

Patents. Another area Google is making it easy to search - over 7 million US Patents & they say they have just started off ! That's interesting as I expect patents from other willing countries to be included in the search.

Finding the patents for everyday devices we use will become so easy & fun.

Here's the one from the inventor of cell phone-Martin Cooper, for Radio Telephone System (Year 1973) with diagrams of the hexagonal base cells!

I understand this feature is in Beta so there are obviously ways to improve it.Here are some I think can be improved.

As of now the advanced search feature lets users specify the start and end date (of patents filed/issued) within which to search for the patents.However,I was surprised that a option to sort the result by date was not available.

For example, If I wanted to find the very first occurrence of the word "Internet" in patents ,the results quite predictably are according to the relevance. After playing around with the dates in the advanced for sometime,figured out that a patent for "Knife Grinding Machine" filed on September 1,1904 was the first patent in the US to have contained the word "Internet"!

A option to sort would have been helpful.

Sadly, the original patent that old was very hard to read as only the image was provided.Why shouldn't the digitized text be provided? That is the only way people will be able to read the patent if they are interested.

This service is called "Google Patent Search".But www.google.com/patent gives you a 404 Not found error!

And there is no indication of this new patent search when you do a search for "patents" on original Google website.

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