Google has announced a new search service to add to its catalog of search products. Google Patent Search will allow you to perform a full text search of 7 million patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Using the advanced search, Google Patent Search will allow you to search by patent number, title, inventor, assignee, current U.S. classification, international classification, issue date, and filing date.
You can actually view images of original patents online including drawings, descriptions, claims and links to the U.S. Patent office filing. Since Google Patent Search uses much of the same technology that powers Google Book Search, you can therefore scroll through pages and zoom in on text and drawings as you can with books.
My search for “ipod” returned 68 results. Browsing through the results I found some interesting ipod accessories. An advanced search for “inassignee:apple computer” returned over 1000 results including this little number from 1982.
Now available in beta (of course), you can search for yourself at www.google.com/patents.