Google has launched a beta of a service that searches patent filings.
The service will initially index seven million patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Google plans to add additional sources in the future.
Patents can be searched for by number, the name of the person filing the patent or by keywords.
Google plans to build an index of patent documents, including images, by scanning the documents and using optical character recognition technology.
The process is similar to the method by which Google scans books for its Book Search service.
While Google Book Search has met with fierce resistance from copyright holders, information in patent filings documents is freely available. The USPTO currently offers online access to the patents through its website.
Molybdenum ditelluride is a two-dimensional material that can be easily stacked into multiple layers to create a memory cell
New light-guiding nanoscale device can control and monitor a nanoparticle trapped in a laser beam with high sensitivity
Optical traps are scientific instruments in which a focused laser beam is used to exert an attractive or repulsive force on a microscopic object to hold it in place
Scientists estimate that the exoplanet has already lost up to 35 per cent of its mass over its lifetime
The observations were made using the Atacama Array in the Chilean desert