MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Google says it is enhancing it patent search service to help companies making infringement claims and those defending against them.
Google has added patents filed with the European Patent Office to its database of patents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, InformationWeek reported Wednesday.
A separate search service when it was introduced in 2006, the database has recently been incorporated with Google Search.
Google has also added a tool called Prior Art Finder. "Prior art" is a legal term for records of innovation that preceded a specific patent claim.
"Typically, patents are granted only if an invention is new and not obvious," Google engineering manager Jon Orwant said in a blog post. "To explain why an invention is new, inventors will usually cite prior art such as earlier patent applications or journal articles.
Prior Art Finder takes key phrases from existing patent listings and searches for them in Google Patents, Google Scholar and Google Books, as well as the rest of the Internet.
"Determining the novelty of a patent can be difficult, requiring a laborious search through many sources, and so we've built a Prior Art Finder to make this process easier," Orwent said.
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, June 18 (UPI) --A new computer algorithm that can give humans the ability to map their environments with sound could lead to an app to aid blind people, Swiss researchers say.