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.
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.
To date, the USPTO has made available approximately 8 million patents and 3 million patent applications.
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.
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.
Prior Art Finder is another search available from Google. The Prior Art Finder scans text for key phrases, combines them into aset of search queries, and displays the results from Google Patents, Google Scholar, Google Books, and the rest of the web. You can enter your text into the text area above, or find prior art for a particular patent application or grant by entering an identifier such as US20120309256 or EP1692064B1.
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.
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.