Patent Searching

There is no legal requirement for patent searches before filing a patent application. However, it is always good practice to do some level of searching before investing significant funds in developing and manufacturing your invention. It will also help you to determine whether you are infringing someone else’s IP. If you find patents similar to yours you may develop technologies that are clearly distinguished from the known patents.



There are a few reliable online resources where you can conduct a search for free. See our Free Search DB page. Be aware that effective use of these databases is not a simple or straightforward task so it is prudent to engage a patent attorney or other IP professionals to aid you in the search.



If you want us to conduct a patentability search, please send us details of your invention to At a reasonable cost, we will search Australia Patents Register and various international patent databases online for you to discover any relevant prior art.



Once a provisional patent application is filed, it is recommended that an International-Type Search is requested with IP Australia. The search is performed by IP Australia and is essentially similar to a PCT International Search identifying the prior art relevant to the patentability of the invention, establish an international search report, and provide a written opinion on the invention’s potential patentability. This will not only give you a head-up ideas what you will be facing during the PCT stage but also a chance to amend your patent application and distinguish any aspects that are not included in the prior art.


For more information, call us today on +61 2 9233 1411 or send us an online enquiry.

Common Questions

What is a Patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. In other words, a patent is an exclusive right to a product or a process that generally provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. Patents may be obtained for any device, product or process that is new, useful and inventive or innovative satisfying the requirements of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth).

Can a mobile app, software or business method be patented?

Generally speaking, there are no specific exclusions to inventions that are implemented as computer software or mobile phone applications under the Australian Patent law. They can be patentable as long as they meet the requirements for ‘a manner of manufacture’ and that are not mere schemes, abstract ideas or mere information. Business schemes themselves are not patentable unless they involve in new applications of computer technology or other useful physical results which provides ‘an artificially created state of affairs’.