Articles > Intellectual Property

How Can I Conduct a Patent Search?

March 4, 2021   Daniel KatzPhilip Evangelou

Before lodging a patent application, it is wise to conduct a patent search for similar items in the international jurisdictions relevant to you.

(of utmost importance to extensively search for patent information. By doing this, you will be able to more accurately gauge how your invention will do in the face of competition. This is also important when engaging an attorney, as it will assist them in structuring their legal advice and the overall application process. With that being said, conducting a patent search can be tiresome and complicated.

This article will explain the process of conducting a patent search.

What is the Process of Conducting a Patent Search?

Here are the reputable online search tools that you should use to search patent databases:

  • The Lens – covers patents from around the world.
  • Google Patents – assists in finding relevant research and literature pertaining to your invention. It is important to note, that Google Patents does not hold Australian patent literature. 
  • AusPat – covers Australian patent documentation.

When searching, it is important to take a broad view of the relevant search criteria. For example, if your invention is a backpack, it can also be described as a knapsack, haversack and/or rucksack. 

What Should I Look for When Conducting a Patent Search?

Firstly, it is important to ensure that you will be able to claim your invention as the first to be filed. With this, you must look at whether there are any other existing inventions like yours. With that in mind, here are a few things to look for when conducting a patent search:

  • Look for anything similar to your invention
  • Look for ways you can differentiate your invention from competitors
  • Ensure that your invention will not infringe on existing patents
  • Keep an eye on the status of other patents. 
  • Look at the location of the patent. 

Why is it Important to Conduct a Patent Search?

There are over 40 million patents ents all over the world, and this number is constantly growing. Before you go too far down the process of commercialising an invention, it is important to know if a patent already exists on your idea. Infringing, or copying, someone else’s patent can lead to serious legal implications. With this, patent searching is essential in determining whether the relevant intellectual property can be claimed as your own, or whether there is a strong likelihood you will be found to be infringing on someone else’s.

To Sum Up

The patent application is complicated, and searches should be conducted by a specialist IP lawyer or patent attorney.

If you need any assistance, our IP lawyers are here to help you. You can call us on 1300 337 997, or fill out the form on this page.

About Daniel Katz

Daniel KatzDaniel is a legal intern at OpenLegal, placed in our legal content team. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Technology Sydney. Daniel's interest lies in economics and media/startup law.

About Philip Evangelou

phillipPhil is a director at OpenLegal. He has over 16 years experience working in private practice and in-house counsel in Sydney and London, giving him expertise in employment law, IP, finance, leases, dispute resolution, insurance and contracts.