IP Australia states that "a patent is a right that is granted for any device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive, and useful. Most patents can be found using freely available online patent databases.
AusPat is the key database for finding Australian patents. Access is provided for free by the Australian Intellectual Property Office IP Australia.
To search for overseas patents you can search the patent databases of international Intellectual Property offices such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO). The IP Australia website maintains a list of these and other selected international and overseas online patent databases on their website.
Global patent databases
You can also use Google Patents to search and read the full text of patent grants and applications from around the world.
- Patents section of the IP Australia website - for a great overview about patents, searching for patents and the application process.