Google this week made Google Instant search available in 18 new countries, all in Europe and Asia.

The new countries are: Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Sweden and Vietnam. Google said in a blog post today that this nearly doubles the number of countries that Instant is available in. Of course, all of these countries have localized language versions.

As we reported earlier this week, Google has received a patent that – while not specifically using the words ‘Google Instant’ – would seem to point to Google owning the patent for how Instant works. If so, competitors will need to either find another way to display “instant” results or license the process from Google.