Google Patents: Now and Then

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Interested in a smartphone that flashes LED lights at you when you have an incoming call? How about a mug that looks like a crayon? Good news. Inventors have filed patents on both of these items. You are able to look at them online by visiting Google Patents.

The Wonderful World of Google Patents

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

Organizing the World’s Information

According to Google, Google Patents is one more part of the company’s mission to organize the world’s information. Google Patents gets its info from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). When a patent is issued in the U.S. it becomes part of the public domain so Google can distribute this information. One of the amazing things about Google Patents is the number of Patents it includes. The service displays patents issued within the United States from 1790 to the present. That is a lot of data that users can explore.

A Patent History Lesson

The site also provides an interesting history of technology advancements. You can view Alexander Graham Bell’s 1880 patent for an automatic short-circuiter for telephones or a patent approved in 1889 to Thomas Edison for the incandescent electric lamp. If you have not yet been to Google Patents take a look. The site offers a good look at where we have been technologically as a country and where we are going.