This is a kind of random question but are patents once there granted required to scanned and put online to allow people to check for past art? Or do companies like Google pay to have this done?
Patent authorities such as the USPTO publish applications 18 months after filing and patents upon grant. You can access patent documents directly from the various patent authorities. Websites such as Google Patent and The Lens generally make it a bit easier to access these publications. I don't know if they pay for access, but I doubt it as the information is public and The Lens in particular is non-profit.