Have you ever been curious, in this country of innovation, what ideas are sprouting? Google has made it possible for you to explore this with Google Patents.

The Wonderful World of Google Patents

Haven’t heard about Google Patents? You’re not alone. This offering by the Internet search giant Google is an intriguing one. It lets you peer into the future – or at least a possible future – by viewing the numerous patents issued by the United States. As you might imagine, the patents range from the serious – new methods of delivering vaccinations – to the absurd – an electronic pickle jar game. Just by plugging random words in the Google Patents search engine, you can search through these useful and decidedly useless futuristic marvels.

Organizing the World’s Information

In describing Google Patents, Google writes that the service is part of the company’s larger mission to organize the world’s data. All of the information on Google Patents comes from the records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, more well known by the acronym USPTO. Google can offer this information because all patents issued in the United States are part of the public domain. What’s most amazing about Google Patents is its breadth. The service only displays U.S. patents – not international ones – issued from the 1790s to the present. Consequently searchers can wade through 8 million patents and 3 million patent applications through the Google-provided service.

A Patent History Lesson

Due to this huge span of time, with a little searching, you can get an image of technological advancements this country has made. For example, you can see the patent which was presented to Alexander Graham Bell for an automatic short-circuiter for telephones in 1880. If you want see where we may be headed based on recent patents, check out Google Patents.