Last updated: 
8 October 2021

Before applying for a standard patent, you should conduct a search. The search will show whether there is anything similar in the market place which may affect the likelihood of your patent being granted.

Your invention must be kept secret until you have applied for patent protection. You can still talk to your employees, business partners or advisers about your invention, but make it clear that the information is to be kept confidential.

Searches can be conducted using online databases for patents or by an IP Professional.

Search costs

No cost for a search conducted yourself.

Costs are variable for a search conducted by an IP professional.

Length of search process

There is no set time for the search to be conducted.

Preliminary search and opinion

You can request for a preliminary search and opinion (PSO) if you have filed a standard application with us, provided you have not already requested examination of your application.

If you request a PSO and pay our fee, we will produce identifying inventions similar to yours.

This report can:

  • give you an idea about the uniqueness of your invention and its chance of gaining patent protection in Australia
  • help you to make an informed decision about your next steps in pursuing protection for your invention.

This search is not intended to be a final or binding determination of the validity of your application and does not replace the usual examination processes. It will provide you some of the ground of objection that we apply when examining your patent application.

The report also includes an opinion on the adequacy of the description and the clarity of the claims, whether any claims are not patentable under Australian law and whether they are novelty and inventive in the light of the documents we have identified.