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Recently we’ve been noticing that Google Patent Search has been giving us some odd errors. Specifically, some of its patent PDF copies seem to be only sporadically available.
To try to replicate the problem, we’ve been throwing some random patent numbers into the system, and while we haven’t figured out exactly what the database is missing, we have come up with some examples. This past week when viewing the record for US7524860 (issued April 2009), clicking “download PDF” produced the following error message:
Another test document US7576097 (issued August 2009) produced the same error last week. We contacted Google Patents via their contact form, and while we haven’t heard back, the errors (with these two examples, at least) have been corrected.
Of course, the good news is that there are plenty of other free sources for US patent PDFs should one temporarily have issues with one of them, including FreePatentsOnline, SumoBrain, Patent Lens and esp@cenet for example. Has anyone else noticed this trend with Google Patents or any other system?
This post was contributed by Intellogist team member Kristin Whitman.