You should search on the:
- Internet, including Google Patents and social media
- IP search databases, both Australian and international.
As part of the examination process, we'll also perform extensive searches. If we find a product or invention that's too similar to yours, we'll let you know.
Check the IP search databases
You can use online IP search databases to look up the details of IP rights filed by others.
The Australian Patent Search (AusPat) database contains details for patent applications and grants. There are many ways you can search -- including by invention title, applicant, inventor, WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) or PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) number, filing date and priority date.
International patent search databases
How to use AusPat
There are three ways you can search:
- Quick search
A general search -- perfect if you're looking for a specific application or invention
- Structured search
Allows you to search across and combine multiple fields across the database. This can help you narrow down the results you're interested in
- Advanced search
Provides a free text input box so you can search specific, complex search queries. This search type is best suited to those who are experienced in searching for patents.
If you need help, you can follow the AusPat User Guide below.
Get help with your search
There are different support services available if you need help. Explore the options below:
Total cost: Free
- Small to medium enterprises that don't have legal representation.
Key things to know:
- A dedicated patent expert from our agency will assist you at every stage of the application and/or examination process
- They can also guide you on how to use the search tools.
Conducting your own search will help you get an idea of what patents already exist.
However, looking for existing patents can be complex and time-consuming.
You may choose to consider engaging an IP attorney to help you. Many attorneys offer a range of services that you may find useful. The cost of engaging these services will be provided by the attorney firm. This will usually be dependent on the level of support and time required.