Patent searchers have been wondering for months when Google would update Google Patents, its database of U.S. patents launched in mid-2006. Although the USPTO publishes up to 10,000 new patent documents per week, Google Patents hasn’t been updated since it was launched some sixteen months ago…. that is, until now.
I was running some test searches this evening and noticed some very recent patents turning up in the search results. Sure enough, it appears that GP now includes some issued patents through at least August 2007, although it’s unclear if the data is complete. The Google Patents FAQ still insists that coverage is from 1790 to June 2006.
I also noticed that GP is no longer claiming to provide access to current U.S. Patent Classification data. The advanced search form classification field and patent record display are now labelled “U.S. Classification” rather than “Current U.S. Classification”. The classification data appears to be the classification at issue.