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A Google Toolbar plug-in for FreePatentsOnline is available to download for free here. This adds FreePatentsOnline search functionality to the Google Search Box in the toolbar (via dropdown menu) as well as allowing users to select any text in browser then click on the button to automatically do an in-site search. The button also has quick links to the search form, recent US applications, and “Crazy Patents” page of FreePatentsOnline.
The "My Plaque" feature is a website graphics feature that creates an image that looks like a "plaque". The feature generates a linked image with accompanying code that can be copied and pasted to a website such as a blog or company site. This code displays a graphic and contains a link to the patent in question on FreePatentsOnline.
FreePatentsOnline has hit list style pages of selected patents in the categories of:
- University Patents - example patents that have university based assignees)
- Featured US Patents - example patents annotated with US class and subclass from a certain month
- Crazy Patents - funny or strange patents submitted by users
A spin-off site, CitePatents, encourages writers to cite patents in their writing. CitePatents itself is merely a series of pages explaining what patents are (and how to cite them properly) to would be journalists, bloggers, and researchers. There are links on the homepage to go to FreePatentsOnline, embed a FreePatentsOnline search bar in a personal site (through html), or use the My Plaque feature.
On July 7, 2009, FreePatentsOnline announced a new product called LocalPatents.com. Using Google Maps as a foundation, FreePatentsOnline has organized patents geographically in an attempt to show which areas are the greatest centers of innovation, and where innovation is happening in your local area. The uses proposed by FreePatentsOnline include job searching and local interest news stories.
The Google Toolbar plug-in is a quick way for users to access FreePatentsOnline if they are current users of the Google Toolbar. In most cases, it is not much more effort just to navigate to the website and then search in the provided search forms, but this feature may be of use to some extremely optimization conscious users.