It has been widely reported that Google has just launched their patent searching database online. However, it would seem that they are a little late to the party in creating such a searchable resource, as Patent Prospector reports that there are extensive databases already in use, though they arenââ?¬â?¢t all free. Additionally, the Daily Dose of IP reported that the USPTO has just come out with a new version of PAIR, the venerable granddaddy prior art database. Patent Prosecutor’s post has a link to Patent Hawkââ?¬â?¢s prior art database which is skewed towards computer-related technologies, and mentions that it is a pity there is no info on bio-tech patents. Well, I had the opportunity to meet the creator of CAMBIA this summer, and the Patent Lens project of theirs fits the bill for bio-tech perfectly and it has downloadable pdf files of search results. Richard Jefferson, who does his work down under in the Australian capital Canberra, is perhaps better known for championing the creation of an open source patent system. To that end, he has created an excellent searchable database that is growing by the day and is constantly being refined. These databases will hopefully serve to fulfill the goal of facilitating innovation and the scientific arts by providing inventors with an easier means of finding prior art and perhaps give them some new ideas along the way. With Google entering the searchable database realm, the open source movement could gain more support, especially in light of recent developments in Asia. Patent Prospector has also reported that China, Japan, and Korea have agreed to share patent databases. In light of the movement towards global patent transparency, could a world database be a conceivable venture in the future?

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