About Google Patents

At Google, we're constantly trying to make important collections of information more useful to the world. For the millions of ideas that have been submitted to either the United States or European patent offices, Google Patents lets you discover, search and read them online. And with our Prior Art Finder, you can find documents related to a particular patent application. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does this patent data come from?

All documents available through Google Patents originate from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO).

What patents are available?

Google Patents covers the entire collection of granted patents and patent applications from the USPTO and EPO. US patent applications date back to 1790, EPO patent applications to 1978.

How do I use Patent Search?

You can search the full text of U.S. patents by selecting "Patents" from within Google search, or from the search box at the top of any patent page. You can also start from the Advanced Patents search page to search by criteria such as patent number, inventor, classification and filing date.

What is the Prior Art Finder, and how does it work?

Typically, patents are granted only if the invention is novel. Determining novelty can be difficult, requiring a laborious search through many sources, and so we've built a Prior Art Finder that makes it easy to search multiple sources simultaneously. You can experiment with it by clicking on the "Find Prior Art" button from the Overview page.  The Prior Art Finder identifies key phrases from the text of the patent, combines them into a search query, and displays the results from Google Patents, Google Scholar, Google Books and the rest of the web.

The Prior Art Finder also lets you filter by date, showing you content that existed prior to patent filing.  Google relies upon a variety of sources to estimate the date of creation: for a patent, the filing date identified by the granting agency; for books, magazines and articles, the publication date identified by publishers and libraries; for web content, a variety of criteria such as the date Google first encountered the content online and dates mentioned in the content itself.

How do you rank results in Patent Search and the Prior Art Finder?

As with Google Search, we rank results according to their relevance for a given search query. The system involves no human oversight, using algorithms that combine multiple signals to determine the ordering of search results.

Can I download a PDF of a patent I’ve found in Google Patents?

You can download PDFs of US patents by clicking on the “Download PDF” button near the top right of a patent page.

Why does Google offer bulk downloads of US patent and trademark information?

Many research organisations and major law firms rely on bulk data to analyse thousands or millions of patents at once.  Google and the USPTO have partnered to provide bulk file downloads of patent and trademark data to everyone, at no cost. Previously, this information was only available on a file-by-file basis from the USPTO website, or in bulk via CDs, DVDs or digital tape, and at prices ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars. Now anyone can get the information for free by visiting http://www.google.com/googlebooks/uspto.html.

When will Patent Search include my country's patents?

Google Patents currently includes only patents filed at the USPTO and EPO. We’re always looking to extend our products and services to users worldwide, and will expand the set of patent offices we cover in the future.

Can I submit a suggestion or feature request for Google Patents?

Absolutely. Our team is working hard to improve Google Patents, and we encourage you to send us any suggestions you have. Just click on the Send Feedback link here or at the bottom of any Overview page.