Google has launched a major update on their Patent Search Engine. Google said that they have added patents filed with European Patent Office to the database enabling you to search through them.
Google has added another useful feature. They call it Prior Art Finder. This feature is designed to enable inventors to search for existing patents that might be related to their inventions.
Google spoke about this 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. You’ll start to see the blue “Find prior art” button on individual patent pages starting today. Our hope is that this tool will give patent searchers another way to discover information relevant to a patent application, supplementing the search techniques they use today. We’ll be refining and extending the Prior Art Finder as we develop a better understanding of how to analyze patent claims and how to integrate the results into the workflow of patent searchers.