Broadening Google Patents

Cross-posted with the European Public Policy Blog and Inside Search Blog.

Last year, we launched two improvements to Google Patents: the Prior Art Finder and European Patent Office (EPO) patents. Today we’re happy to announce the addition of documents from four new patent agencies: China, Germany, Canada, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Many of these documents may provide prior art for future patent applications, and we hope their increased discoverability will improve the quality of patents in the U.S. and worldwide.

So if you want to learn about a Chinese dual-drive bicycle, a German valve for inflating bicycle tires, attach a Canadian trailer to your bike, or read the WIPO application for pedalling with one leg, those and millions of other inventions are now available on Google Patents.

Thanks to Google Translate, all patents are available in both their original languages and in English, and you can search across the world’s patents using terms in any of those languages. When there are multiple submission languages, you can move between them with a single click on the tabs at the top of the page, as shown in the screenshot below:

Report: How Google fights piracy

More music, video, text and software is being created on the Internet by more people in more places than ever before. Every kind of creative endeavor, both amateur and professional, is being transformed by the new opportunities and lower costs made possible by digital tools and online distribution. But copyright infringement remains a problem online, and Google is working hard to tackle it.

Today, we are releasing a report, “How Google Fights Piracy,” bringing together in one place an overview of the programs, policies, and technologies we have put in place to combat piracy online. Here are few highlights:

  • Better Legal Alternatives: The best way to fight piracy is with better, convenient, legal alternatives. On YouTube and Play, Google is committed to creating those compelling alternatives for users. Each time a music fan chooses YouTube or Play over an unauthorized source, for example, it’s a victory against piracy. And thousands of copyright owners now use Content ID on YouTube to elect to monetize user-generated content on YouTube, rather than take it down, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties from Google each year.
  • Follow the Money: When it comes to rogue sites that specialize in online piracy, other anti-piracy strategies will have limited effect so long as there is money to be made by their operators. As a global leader in online advertising, Google is committed to rooting out and ejecting rogue sites from our advertising services, to ensure that they are not being misused to fund these sites. In 2012, we disabled ad serving to more than 46,000 sites for violating our copyright policies, the vast majority detected through our proactive efforts. We are also working with other leaders in the industry to craft best practices aimed at raising standards across the entire online advertising industry. 
  • Removing Infringing Results from Search: When it comes to Search, Google is a leader in addressing the concerns of copyright owners, responding to more copyright removal notices, and faster, than ever before. During 2012, copyright owners and their agents sent us removal notices for more than 57 million web pages. Our turnaround time on those notices was, on average, less than 6 hours. That’s faster than we managed in 2011, despite a 15-fold increase in the volume of requests. 

Hundreds of Google employees work on the problem of piracy online, and we will continue to work with copyright owners to focus our energies on combating the problem.

Don't get locked out: set up recovery options for your Google Account

Posted by Diana Smetters, Software Engineer

This summer we’re posting regularly with privacy and security tips. Knowing how to stay safe and secure online is important, which is why we created our Good to Know site with advice and tips for safe and savvy Internet use. -Ed.

Strong passwords help protect your accounts and information on the web. But forgetting your password is like losing your keys—you can end up locked out of your own home. It gets worse if your password gets compromised or stolen. Sometimes the thief will change your password so you can't get back into your own account—kind of like someone stealing your keys and then changing the lock.

If you've lost your Google password, you need a way to get back into your Google Account—and back to all of your stuff in Gmail, Maps, Google+ and YouTube. To help you, Google needs to be able to tell that you’re the rightful account owner even if you don't have the right password. There are a few easy steps you can take right now to make it easy for you—and no one else—to get into your Google Account if you forget or don’t know the password.

1. Add a recovery email address. By registering an alternate email address with your Google Account settings, you’re giving Google another way to reach you. If you forget your password, Google can send a link to that recovery email address so you can reset your password. Google can also use that email address to let you know if we detect something suspicious happening with your account.

Setting up your recovery options can help you get back in
if you get locked out of your Google Account

2. Add a phone number to your Google Account. Your mobile phone is the best way to regain access to your account if you forget your password. It's like the "fast lane" for account recovery: we text a code to the phone number you've registered with us, and you're back in business in no time. Your phone is more secure and reliable than other means of recovering your account. Methods like “secret” questions (asking your mother’s maiden name or city where you were born) may have answers that are easy to remember, but they are also possible for bad guys to uncover. And we’ve consistently seen that people who register a recovery phone are faster and more successful at getting their accounts back than those recovering their accounts via email.

You can also get a text message if Google detects that something suspicious is going on with your account. Giving a recovery phone number to Google won’t result in you being signed up for marketing lists or getting more calls from telemarketers. 3. Keep your recovery options up to date. It’s a good idea to check your recovery options every so often. For example, if you change your phone number after setting up your recovery options, take just a minute to update your recovery settings to match. We'll remind you of your current settings every so often to make it easier for you to keep them up to date.

That’s it! You can either update your recovery options next time you’re prompted, or you can take two minutes to do it right now on our Account recovery options page. For more advice on how to protect yourself and your family online, visit our Good to Know site, or check out some of the other posts in our series on staying safe and secure.

A petition for greater transparency

Posted by Richard Salgado, Director, Law Enforcement & Information Security and Pablo Chavez, Director, Public Policy and Government Affairs

Today we filed an amended petition [PDF] in the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. This petition mirrors the requests made to Congress and the President by our industry and civil liberties groups in a letter earlier this year. Namely, that Google be allowed to publish detailed statistics about the types (if any) of national security requests we receive under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, including Section 702. Given the important public policy issues at stake, we have also asked the court to hold its hearing in open rather than behind closed doors. It’s time for more transparency.

In addition, along with a number of other companies and trade associations, we are also meeting the President’s Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies today. We’ll reiterate the same message there: that the levels of secrecy that have built up around national security requests undermine the basic freedoms that are at the heart of a democratic society.