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Okay, we admit it. We’ve been a little disappointed with Google over the past year here on the Intellogist Blog.
We were sad to see Google Labs go.
We found some compelling reasons why the French-created search system Exalead was better than Google.
Most of all (and most relevant to patent searching specifically), we were disappointed to see Google Patent Cover View disappear. We were so disappointed, we looked to other search systems to see where we could get a comparable fix.
We don’t mean to be too hard on Google. They’re still a fantastically innovative company in many regards. It’s just that… “with great power there must also come — great responsibility!” (to quote Spiderman/Voltaire). We’ve long waited for Google to flex its muscle and really flesh out their Google Patent Search system.
If you haven’t been to Google Patent in a while, read on and we’ll show you a couple of improvements that have been implemented to make the user experience better–including a version of the much missed Cover View!
Back in August, Google Patent went back to configurable results list design. Now, there are two different results list views: “List view” and “Grid view.”
List view is the standard Google Patent results view with a couple of minor tweaks.
There’s a helpful (depending on your screen resolution, perhaps) thumbnail representative image for each result, as well as quick links to the various parts of the document. The links are especially helpful, since earlier versions of Google Patent required you to click on the result link to get to a summary page, then click on another link to get to the section of your choice.
Grid View is the re-named heir to Cover View.
Lacking the extra links of List View, Grid view specializes in presenting the representative images of each of the results in a (you guessed it) grid for easier comparison and identification. The Grid View still suffers from a flaw from the old Cover View: it’s not possible to customize the size of the thumbnails, leaving a lot to be desired if you have a high resolution monitor (since resolution is not taken into consideration, and images can end up quite small at higher resolutions).
What do you think of these improvements to Google Patent Search? Do you think Google will continue to deliver improvments to the interface and/or functionality? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
This post was contributed by Intellogist Team member Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.