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Google Patent Search Beta - It Was Only A Matter Of Time, Right?

.: A local researcher at the National Institute for Nanotechnology sent me a link to the new Google Patent Search Beta site. Google is providing access to all US patents from the 1790s until mid-2006 and plans to eventually add other components:

Google Patent Search covers the entire collection of patents made available by the USPTO—from patents issued in the 1790s through those issued in the middle of 2006. We don’t currently include patent applications, international patents, or U.S. patents issued over the last few months, but we look forward to expanding our coverage in the future.
Searches can be run by inventor, US and Int'l classification, assignee, issue date, and filing date.

Also of note is that as best as I can tell, there are no options for printing, downloading, or e-mailing a patent from the Google Patent Search Beta service, a major drawback for any researcher choosing to use it at this time. Hopefully that will change sometime soon.

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