I'm finding I'm only getting a subset of patents when I search on patents.google.com or www.google.com/patents. For instance searching with me as the inventor returns only 24 granted patents on google when the same search on The Lens provides the correct 86 hits. Google used to be correct so I'm wondering what has changed.

I realize this may be off topic, but a lot of people are using Google for patent searches so it could be a real problem.

  • Tbh. I'm not sure if that's on topic as it seems to be an issue with google, not ask patents and there is no affiliation
    – user18033
    Apr 8, 2017 at 19:21
  • I know, just wondering if anyone else had noticed it. It's a problem since a lot of people are using Google for patent searches.
    – Eric S
    Apr 8, 2017 at 20:02
  • Maybe if you made the question something like is there a way to easily corroborate results or what are other search engines with less problems.
    – user18033
    Apr 8, 2017 at 20:08
  • Perhaps. I know the right answer to how many patents I have which is why I used it to test. I kind of wanted to warn people.
    – Eric S
    Apr 8, 2017 at 20:51
  • Which is why I haven't voted to close, I think getting that info out is important, I just don't know if this is the right way. But in the end, as long as it doesn't get closed it's on topic, that's what this community moderation thing is about I guess ;-). You've got my not-close-"vote" then.
    – user18033
    Apr 8, 2017 at 20:55

1 Answer 1


Apparently google is grouping the patents by families and giving you the number of patent families but sorts them into classifications too, effectively giving not even the number of families.

The first page provided by you gives "about 27" results


It lists 2 patents of classification A61B5/150061 - and I counted, included in the 27 results are only those 2 - but if you click "Search within classification A61B5/150061 (8 results)" (where it already says 8 results, not 2 ...)


You get 3 results - not 8, not 2.

Click on the second patent


and you'll see that it says "also published as (41)"


Together with the fact that there appear almost only US patents in the first 27 results (1 EP), I conclude that google has some kind of sorting by families AND classifications that screws up the number of results. This merely proves that google is not (yet?) as good as commercial/dedicated analysis tools.

  • 1
    You can select to view the patents "ungrouped" and it still doesn't list all of them. Very frustrating as there seems to be no way of obtaining a full listing at present. Google patents didn't use to have this issue. I'm going to accept your answer despite the fact it doesn't explain why Google is wrong. Perhaps this is warning to people to use The Lens or other sites for now.
    – Eric S
    Apr 9, 2017 at 14:54
  • @EricShain But it still shows only one patent per family if ungrouped, right?
    – user18033
    Apr 9, 2017 at 15:02
  • Doesn't seem to affect the number of patents at all. Still trying to figure out if it is leaving off divisionals and continuations or what. Missing about 45 non-US patents. Interestingly if you select EP for the patent office the number of EPs goes from 1 to 11.
    – Eric S
    Apr 9, 2017 at 15:06
  • @EricShain yes, that's what I meant, the family of a patent is shown as one. Meaning everything that claims priority is hidden. As most of your patents are filed first in the US, those show up, but the pct, ep, ca, etc. patents and applications that claim priority are the family (children) of that father patent and therefore hidden. If you filter for ep, there is one ep patent for every family shown.
    – user18033
    Apr 9, 2017 at 16:27
  • I am not using Google, because I have access to subscription databases. And all of them return results grouped by family, as DonQuiKong describes above. @ErinShain do you at least get all the patent families? And regardless of that, can you do a quick search in Espacenet and let us know what you get in comparison? Apr 10, 2017 at 6:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .