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Google Unveils Kickass Prior Art Search Thing

In a patent flame war? Getting sued? Juror on a high-profile case? Patent troll who’s short on time? Microsoft employee wanting to rise fast?

Great news sweetheart, Google’s Patent Search site (yawn…) now lets you extend your searching of patents to prior art related to concepts and patents from sources you define including older patents, academic writings, books and the web.

Here, check out Microsoft’s patent of what appears to be the web browser, patent 5,778,372, one of the key patents they used to shake down Barnes and Nobel and presumably many friends of Android,  and you’ll see the blue Find prior art button in the top right, right? You can click that button, among others.

After you click it, you’ll be looking at your best shot to prove the patent is indeed legit and Android should die (as if anyone needed help realizing that lol) or if you want to be an intellectual property thief sympathizer you can try your luck in the opposite direction here as well on your silly stolen Samsung Galaxy phone (oh here’s Apple’s famous rubber band patent if you want to start there, or here).

It’s not hard to find those who are critical of the US patent office or the judicial system that decides what patents to effectively enforce and affirm in their cases. Google is an outspoken critic. And by freeing up this wealth of information so efficiently, by using their Search genius to make it quick and easy to discover that a patent is either bunk or that your invention can be patented solidly, it strikes me as helpful to improving the system dramatically.

I’m sure some of you are thinking “Yeah right Google, I bet their lawyers vetted every bit of Google IP on this thing to clear out any prior art evidence,” c’mon man, in addition to being truly flagrant, they would be called out on that so quickly. If anything, they’d do the opposite and make damn sure such searches are razor sharp. The race is on right now, I bet, to show that Google is somehow biasing results to favor their own legal interests with this system. You can expect that race to yield no winners, but in general, go ahead and except people who want to make a living by producing really good goods and services, and those who want to keep those people in check, to be helped by Google’s new search function. This is one of many examples of Google doing Good, and makes it harder to refute that Google is awesome.

On the other hand, I obviously drank the kool-aid.

Doug Simmons