How to search existing patents

Before you apply for a patent, you need to check if your invention already exists.

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
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) number
  • Filing date
  • Priority date.

Australian Patent Search (AusPat)

International patent search databases

If you're looking to take your patent to another country, you'll need to check if it already exists there.

How to search existing IP overseas International patent search

How to use AusPat

There are three ways you can search:

  1. Quick search
    A general search — perfect if you're looking for a specific application or invention.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Need help with your patent application? 

If you're a small to medium business, you could be eligible to use our free patent case manager service.

If you'd like legal advice or hands-on help with your application, you should consider engaging a patent attorney.

Apply for a patent case manager
Engage a patent attorney