The Google Patent Search API has been officially deprecated as of May 26, 2011. It will continue to work as per our deprecation policy.

Search Class Reference

The Google Patent Search JavaScript API is a JavaScript library that allows you to embed Google Patent Search in your web pages and other web applications. For Flash, and other non-JavaScript environments, the API exposes a raw interface that returns JSON-encoded results that are easily processed by most languages and runtimes. Read more in the JSON Developer's Guide.

This API is constantly evolving based on the active contributions of our users. Please join us in helping to shape the API and features by participating in the Google Search API discussion group.

Constructor - produces search results by implementing the interface over the Google Patent Search service. Upon completion of a search, it delivers a collection of objects. The base class is not directly used except where noted.

Constructor Description

The constructor allows you to execute searches and receive results from the Patent Search service. The methods and properties described below apply to all objects that inherit from this base class. Each of those objects may supply additional interfaces as well. is implemented in the following methods, static methods, and properties:


Method Description


.clearResults() resets the searcher, clearing all of the results of the previous search. This method is implicitly called prior to executing a new search.

.clearResults() has no arguments and no return value.


.createResultHtml(result) allows the caller to either create or re-generate the .html property of the specified result, where result supplies a result object.

If the result has no .html property, this call creates one. One circumstance requiring you to create an .html property is if the caller had previously used .setNoHtmlGeneration().

.createResultHtml() has no return value.


.execute(query) initiates a new search, where query supplies the search term(s).

This method populates the object with the corresponding set of results, and calls the registered .setSearchCompleteCallback() handler.

.execute() has no return value.


.getResultSetSize() has no arguments and returns an integer from 1–8 indicating the current result set size (which is established by .setResultSetSize(). It allows you to determine the result set size returned by the search.


.gotoPage(page) requests a specific page of search results after an initial search completes, where page supplies the page number of the results that the application wants. Numbering of results pages begins at 0, and the searcher returns the first page by default.

If you specify a page number that is out of range, or if the underlying searcher has no .cursor property, no operation is performed.

.gotoPage() has no return value.


.setNoHtmlGeneration() stops your application from generating an .html property, leaving you with only the raw properties valid in a result. This property is useful for optimizing your application, if you want to handle rendering of the results yourself.

.setNoHtmlGeneration() has no arguments and no return value.


.setQueryAddition(term) sets (or clears) an optional, additional query term that is appended to all queries flowing through the searcher, where term supplies the additional term. Applications typically use this API to provide alternative results with mild variations from the original search term.

To clear an existing query addition, call either .setQueryAddition(null) or .setQueryAddition('').

.setQueryAddition() has no return value.

.setRestriction(type, opt_value)

setRestriction(type, opt_value) specifies or clears a restriction on the result set. In order to establish a restriction, you need to specify valid values for both type and opt_value. To clear a restriction, supply a valid value for type and either specify null for the value of opt_value, or just leave it out.

  • type - In patent search, the only available restriction type is
  • opt_value supplies one of the following values for
    • returns a mix of issued and filed patents. This is the default behavior.
    • restricts the results to only patents that have been issued.
    • Supplying a value of returns filed, but not-yet issued patents.

If the value is null, then the specified restriction is cleared. Otherwise, the value must be valid relative to the value of type and, if so, establishes a restriction.

.setRestriction() has no return value.


.setResultOrder(orderBy) changes the order of search results, where orderBy has three possible values:

  • (default) indicates that results should be returned in order of their relevance to the search term(s).
  • indicates that results should be returned in order of publication date.
  • returns results in applicationDate order using ascending dates, where the oldest patent is the first search result.

.setResultOrder() has no return value.


.setResultSetSize(num) specifies the size of the result set, where num supplies the number of results to display per page, from 1-8.

.setResultSetSize() has no return value.

.setSearchCompleteCallback(object, method, opt_arguments?)

.setSearchCompleteCallback(object, method, opt_arguments?) registers an object and method to notify when a search completes, where:

  • object supplies an application-level object that defines the context in which to call the specified method.
  • method supplies the search completion handler function, which checks for results and appends them to HTML nodes.
  • opt_arguments allows you to optionally pass in a list of arguments, in order, to the specified method. If you choose to use opt_arguments, you must pass in a list (null is also acceptable).

    For example, if you call this method as patentSearch.setSearchCompleteCallback(handler, handler.method, [[1, 2, 3]);, then you execute handler.method(1, 2, 3); when the search completes.

In this API, the calls are asynchronous. Therefore, you can't block on the return and then use the results. Rather, you have to use a callback, which will execute a method upon the return of the results.

.setSearchCompleteCallback() has no return value.

Static methods

Static method Description

.getBranding(opt_element?, opt_orientation?)

.getBranding(opt_element?, opt_orientation?) is a static helper function that returns a "powered by Google" HTML DOM branding node to your application, and optionally attaches it to your document as the only child of the specified optional element. The purpose of this method is to ensure that your application has a simple way to comply with branding requirements.

The branding node, by default, is designed for a horizontal orientation and works well underneath a search form, above or below a collection of results, etc.

  • opt_element is an optional argument which, if supplied, specifies the HTML DOM node that will be populated with a "powered by Google" branding element.
  • opt_orientation - an optional argument which, if supplied, specifies the orientation of the branding node. Valid values include:
    • requests horizontal orientation. This is the default behavior.
    • requests vertical orientation.

.getBranding() returns a "powered by Google" HTML DOM node that you can attach or clone onto your document.

You must call .getBranding() on, not on

Warning! This API requires displaying attribution near any API input boxes and the display of results, indicating that it is "Powered by Google". If you choose not to use .getBranding(), you are obligated to provide this branding yourself.


.setOnLoadCallback(callback) is a static function that registers the specified handler function to be called once the page containing this call loads, where callback is a required function called when the containing document is loaded and the API is ready for use (e.g., after onLoad). This function is implemented on the google namespace (i.e., google.setOnLoadCallback(callback);)

.setOnLoadCallback() has no return value.

Note: Previous documentation recommended that you use the body element's onload attribute (<body onload="OnLoad()">). While this is a fine way to go when you are in complete control of the page and all code loaded by the page, this approach can cause problems with some runtimes that destroy your body.onload handler. setOnLoadCallback() does not have these problems, and therefore is the recommended method of registering a callback that calls your code when the API is fully loaded and ready for use.

Handling search results

Result objects are produced using a JSON encoding of server search requests. Consequently, we have chosen not to implement formal JavaScript objects, and instead dynamically create these objects from their serialized form.

While there is no formal implementation of the objects, they exist, and we document them as if there was a backing JavaScript implementation. The impact of all this is minimal. All that it means is that there is no named constructor. For each result, it's as if the system called new Object() and then set formal properties on that object. These properties are documented below.

Important note: Maximum number of search results

The Google Patent Search API allows a maximum of 64 results on 8 pages. There is no way to get more than 64 results.

Result properties

Here are the basic properties allowing you to handle results from the Patent Search API.

Property Description


Supplies the application filing date of the patent (rfc-822 format).


Supplies the name of the person to whom the patent is assigned.


Supplies a content snippet describing the patent.


.cursor is an optional property that is present once a search completes successfully. When present, the property specifies how an application can request additional search results for the current query term, the estimated result count, the current page, and the URL for a search results page. The property has the following structure:

  • pages[] supplies an array used by start in order to iterate through all available results. Each entry in the array is an object with the following structure:
    • start supplies the value that will be used in the &start URL argument to request a bundle of results
    • label supplies a text label associated with the entry (for example, "1", "2", "3", or "4")
  • estimatedResultCount supplies the estimated number of results that match the current query. This value will not necessarily match the similar value that is visible on the search properties.
  • currentPageIndex supplies the index into the pages array of the current set of results.
  • moreResultsUrl supplies a URL to a Google-hosted search page that contains additional search results.

Note: The Patent Searcher supports a maximum of 8 result pages. When combined with subsequent requests, a maximum total of 64 results are available. It is not possible to request more than 64 results.


Indicates the type of result (for example, indicates GpatentResult).


Supplies the root of an HTML element that may be cloned and attached somewhere into the application's DOM hierarchy. We expect that this is the primary property that applications will use, typically by cloning this node and attaching it to the DOM hierarchy.

We expect applications to control styling, as well as which elements are displayed, using CSS. For instance, we expect the following fragment to be common across all applications that wish to copy and paste search results delivered through the Patent Search API.

// clone the .html node from the result
var node = result.html.cloneNode(true);

// attach the node into my dom


Supplies the patent number for issued patents, and the application number for filed patents that have not yet been issued.


Supplies the status of the patent which can either be "filed" for filed, but not-yet issued patents, or "issued" for issued patents.


.results[] contains an array of search result objects, one for each result. Each time a search executes, this property is cleared, and each time a search completes, the array is populated. If there are no results to report, the .length property of this array will be set to 0. Therefore, results will never be null, and you can always safely check for results.length == 0.

  • The GpatentResult object is produced by It is available in that object's .results[] array.
  • This object is indicated by a .GsearchResultClass value of


If available, supplies the URL of a thumbnail image that visually represents the patent.


Supplies the title of the patent result.


Supplies the title, but unlike .title, this property is stripped of HTML markup (such as <b>, <i>, etc.).


Supplies the unencoded URL of the result.


Supplies the encoded URL for the patent result.


If you encounter problems with your code:

  • Look for typos. Remember that JavaScript is a case-sensitive language.
  • Use a JavaScript debugger. Google Chrome has a full set of developer tools. In Firefox, you can use the JavaScript console or the Firebug. In IE, you can use the Microsoft Script Debugger.
  • Search the discussion group. If you can't find a post that answers your question, post your question to the group along with a link to a web page that demonstrates the problem.