Google on Tuesday announced two major new improvements to its online patents search engine: One is a new “find prior art” button in the top right hand corner that automatically searches for prior works referenced in the patent a user is looking at. As Google explains in a blog post on the new feature:
The Prior Art Finder identifies key phrases from the text of the patent, combines them into a search query, and displays relevant results from Google Patents, Google Scholar, Google Books, and the rest of the web.
Also, Google has expanded its database to include patents filed at the European Patent Office. The search engine previously only scoured patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which offers its own online search function for patents.