Mountain View (CA) - Google's latest member in its massive collection of search tools lets users forage through US patents, as the search giant launched the beta version of Google Patent Search late yesterday.
Users can search keywords, and Google will look through the entire text of all patents in its database, like the original patent for Nintendo's Game Boy. The search feature also has an array of advanced options, including search for a specific patent number, title, or inventor name. Users can also specify the US or international classification and issue/filing date range.
The Google Patent Search is much more intuitive than the official search tool on the government's patent office Web site, if only because it uses the intimitely familiar Google interface. When a specific patent is viewed, users can then zoom in and scroll through pages, similar to the features in Google Book Search.
According to Google, more than 7 million patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are already up on Patent Search, and work is underway to let users save and print patent documents.