The 3 Best Ways to Find Google Search Product News

In 2012, I discussed some of the best websites for locating database updates and search platform news.  A network of blogs and websites exists that caters specifically to professional searchers and IT specialists, and these sites discuss the latest updates to popular patent and non-patent literature search platforms.  The websites for specific database and search systems also often list the latest news about their respective search platforms, although these press releases are usually rather promotional in comparison to the more objective search engine news sites.  One specific search platform mentioned frequently on these sites is both highly utilized and highly controversial within the prior art search community: Google.

Google produces a number of useful products that often provide a good starting point for patent and non-patent literature (NPL) prior art searches, such as Google Scholar, Google Books, and Google Patents.  Users should remember, however, that Google is not the end-all resource for prior art searches.  Both free and subscription patent and non-patent literature (NPL) databases exist that contain specialized collections of patent records, scholarly journal articles, etc. that aren’t accessible at all on Google.  The Google search algorithm will also never replace the human strategy, technical knowledge, search skills, and multilingual knowledge of professional patent searchers. Just as a machine translation tool like Google Translate can’t replace the knowledge and comprehension of a professional human translator, Google search products can’t replace the expertise and strategy of a professional searcher.  Google is just one of many search resources in the patent searcher’s tool belt.

Keeping that caveat in mind, Google products still provide an excellent starting point for scoping out relevant prior art (especially non-patent literature), so searchers should stay up-to-date on the latest Google news and product releases.  After the jump, learn about three techniques for finding the latest Google search news!

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What you need to know about changes to Google Patents

Users of the free Google Patents search service may have noticed some changes to the search interface,  display options, and coverage for the system in the past week, and some of these changes are briefly mentioned in the Official Google Blog. The most obvious alteration to the search interface is that all search tool options are now located above the search results, instead of in a side-menu to the left of the result list. The grid configuration is also no longer available for the result set, so users can only view the results in a list view.  For each result, users have the option to select “Overview” (full record), “Related” (link to Prior Art Finder tool), or “Discuss” (link to the “Ask Patents” website). Finally, EP patent documents can now be searched on the Google Patents interface.   Most of these alterations are relatively neutral and will not affect your search strategy, but the addition of EP patent documents is a big improvement to the coverage of the Google Patents system.  The decision to get rid of the grid view will come as a disappointment to patent searchers specialized in the mechanical arts who often use images in search result lists to judge relevance (just as the disappearance of the Cover View in the summer of 2011 was equally disappointing).

After the jump, we’ll take a tour of the recent changes to the coverage, search and viewing options on Google Patents!

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Google’s “Prior Art Finder” — What it is and what it isn’t

Google announced a major update to their Google Patents search tool yesterday. These changes include two main offerings:

1. The inclusion of EP documents
2. The introduction of the “Prior Art Finder” tool

As of the writing of this blog post, it appears that while EP documents are available within the Google Patents search system (such as this document), they do not come up normally in results lists for search queries. This is the case even when using verbatim title searching or document number searching, and the advanced search form does not include any options for searching EP documents, either. However, this seems like a glitch or gradual roll-out that Google is well known for and not a permanent issue. The inclusion of EP documents is a major boon to those who prefer Google Patents over Espacenet (in the free search tool domain). EP data is but the first step towards making Google Patents a more viable search tool for more than a quick starting point or “silver-bullet” type search.

As for the Prior Art Finder tool: I’ve got a lot to say about how that feature works, what it can do for the professional searcher, and what it means for the future of prior art search after the jump.

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Patent Searching Tips: Using Google to narrow it down

On this special episode of Danny Rooney, Danny tries to do something he has never done before…be serious.

Today, I want to give a quick refresher on how to use two patent search systems together to find results quickly and easily. This information may be entry level for patent search experts, such as those over at our parent company Landon IP, but it’s always good to brush up on the basics.

In our example today, I am going to use Google Patent Search System (Google Patents) in combination with a more in-depth patent search system such as PatBase, Thomson Innovation, or TotalPatent.

Most major stand-alone search engines are great at searching large quantities of patent data, but it is sometimes difficult to quickly and easily find a patent document representative of a particular prior art genre, especially if the art uses plenty of vague terms (think of generic terms like “member,” “mechanism,” or “surface”). Say, for instance, we have a widget that we are going to search for, and only have some simple data like a drawing, some claims and a brief description. If we enter those basic terms into a major patent search system, we could get lucky and something related may show up immediately, but for anything complex, that is often not the case.

Read more to find out how blending Google Patents in to the early stages of our search can save us time and help narrow our results.

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Free Machine Translation Round-up: Patent Translate and 2lingual

As we’ve proved in past posts, machine translations aren’t always accurate, especially for translations of patent documents.  In a previous post,  Landon IP’s Director of Translation Services Sonja Olson summed up the problem with machine translations: “machine translation will get the gist of the document, but it will lose the nuance.  Machine translation can plug words together, but it can’t understand the sentence as a whole.” Machine translations can be useful for browsing documents for relevance during the search process, but professional human translations should be used for filing or legal purposes.

Today, we’ll take a look at two machine translation tools that can be used for initial prior art search purposes: 2lingual for non-patent literature (NPL) and Patent Translate for patent documents on Espacenet.  Both tools utilize the machine translation functions of Google Translate.

After the jump, we’ll look at how 2lingual and Patent Translate can help you expand your prior art search and evaluate non-English patent documents for relevance!

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Sobotong: Search for Non-Patent Literature in Multiple Languages and Formats Simultaneously

Patent searchers need to be mindful to branch out past English-language patents during a prior art search.  Relavent prior art may come in any format and in any language, so searchers  need to utilize techniques and resources to access prior art in any and all available languages and formats.  Sobotong is a new bilingual search engine that can help searchers identify non-patent literature prior art in both multiple languages and formats.  A recent post from the Beyond Search blog gave a brief review of the Sobotong bilingual search engine,  which was created by Qiang Wang.  Although the Sobotong website offers some unique search options that may help the user identify multilingual relavent prior art, the site also suffers from one main problem: Sobotong utilizes machine translation when conducting the multilingual searches.  Professional patent searchers who fluently speak multiple languages will always be able to conduct more thorough searches than a system utilizing free machine translation services to conduct a multilingual search.

After the jump, learn about the unique features of Sobotong that allow the user to identify prior art in multiple languages and formats, and find out the down side of using a multi-lingual search platform!

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Google Chrome Highlighting Solution: Find Many Strings

Here at the Intellogist Blog, we are continually intrigued by the pursuit of the best possible prior art searching setup. Part of this setup is determining the best tools to help one’s self accomplish your goal of finding the best prior art, something our parent company Landon IP takes very seriously when doing searches for our clients.

Part of this is finding the best browser for patent searching. A continuation of that pursuit is modifying said browser. Among other options, users can modify their browsers with toolbars (including toolbars for IP professionals) or seek other add-ons or extensions.

One of the most dramatic ways to improve a prior art searcher’s experience is to incorporate keyword highlighting. From the very beginning, we’ve touted highlighting as a way to improve search and found a way to implement more highlighting options. Unfortunately, the add-on highlighted in the previously linked post, Google Toolbar, is no longer supported in the newer versions of Firefox. Additionally, the highlighting within Google Chrome only supports one highlighted keyword at a time.

So, what’s a prior art searcher to do? Find a solution, that’s what! Today I’ll profile a Google Chrome Extension called “Find Many Strings.” This tool presents yet another option in the ever expanding array of search environment personalizations.

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