Here is the text from Google Patents help page: ‘Due to technical difficulties, Internet Explorer 7 users are being given empty search result pages starting around August 9, 2011. We expect to have the problem fixed by the end of the week, and apologize for any inconvenience. Upgrading to Internet Explorer 8 or any other modern browser should fix the problem. Downgrading to Internet Explorer 6 will also work.’
The interesting thing is what makes IE7 unique. So unique that google doesn’t even serve search results and would take a week to fix the problem. I would be very much interested in knowing what was the problem and ofcourse the fix for it. Hope google sheds some light on the technicalities of this IE7 outage.