This week saw the news that Google, who already offering a patent database, will acquire in excess of 1.5 million patents in a deal with the European Patent Office (EPO).
Google – famous for being one of the most successful yet controversial companies of the present time – is offering the use of their advanced searching technology to translate patents from a variety of European languages – in exchange for access to the patents the technology will be used to translate.
President Benoît Battistelli stated on the EPO website:
“The European Patent Office is one of the largest providers of free information on state-of-the-art technology disclosed in patents from around the globe. The partnership with Google to create machine translation tools for patents will help inventors, engineers and R+D teams to retrieve relevant documents efficiently – in their own language – from our wealth of published patent information. This agreement with Google puts the EPO at the forefront of efforts to strengthen the patent system’s international character and improve its quality for the benefit of the global economy”
The news comes at a busy time for Google, with share prices dropping up to 4.5% as European regulators begin an anti-trust investigation of Google based on allegations that the company favours its own services within Google searches rather than it’s competitors.