When Google introduced its Google Patents, it revolutionized online (read "free") patent searching. But I always had one complaint. When I use Google Patents, my goal is usually getting a either a pdf or a hard copy (which I usually obtain by printing a pdf) of the patent. Google Patents gives you that, but it takes too many steps.
Rolf Claessen of IP Newsflash (a German patent attorney), recently emailed me about his new Free Patent PDF Download tool that solves my one, relatively minor, Google Patents complaint. Enter your patent number (after free registration, that is) hit enter and get your pdf. Also, Claessen’s tool uses the espacenet database, so its coverage is substantially more than just US patents.
Patent Retriever is another new and free download service that allows you to download US, European and PCT patent and published applications as PDF files (no registration required).