Google turns its search smarts to patents


Gigaom

Google (s goog) has made its Google Patents tool markedly more useful by tuning it to be even better at identifying potential infringements. Specifically, the company announced on Tuesday, Google Patents now undertakes the tricky task of spotting prior art by analyzing key phrases in individual patents across Google’s collections of book, scholarly research, patents and, indeed, web databases.

A capability like this has been a long time coming considering the problems that exist in searching for patents — especially prior art. Priort art is generally defined as “all information that has been disclosed to the public in any form about an invention before a given date.” For practitioners, however, the definition might as well read “nearly impossible to search for given the ever-growing volumes of published material.”

With that in mind, here’s what Google claims it can do in a blog post explaining the new feature:

With a…

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