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What is a patent?

A patent is a right granted for any device, substance, method or process which is new, inventive and useful.

A patent is legally enforceable and gives the owner the exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent.

(Source: IP Australia)

Patents - Searching and locating a patent

Searching via Ei Patents

  • Go to Engineering Village
  • Make sure that only US Patents and EP patents are checked
  • Perform your search
  • On the search results page click Full Text to view the full-text online patent

Searching via SciFinder

SciFinder - Registration is required for first-time users.


  • Perform your search
  • From the search results page click Analyze/Refine and follow the options given
  • Viewing search results
  • Country codes for patents in SciFinder

Searching via Scopus


  • Go to Scopus
  • Perform your search
  • Click on the "view...patent results" link above the search results
  • Sort or refine your answer sets at the left column
  • Click on the patent title link to view full-text online if available

Searching via European Patent Office

European Patent Office is a free database which gives full-text of European, US, WIOP (World Intellectual Property Organization), and Japanese patents.


  • Go to European Patent Office
  • On the European Patent Office homepage, you can search with SmartSearch, Advanced search, or Classification search
  • Perform your search
  • On the result list page you can view the document in the following format: Bibliographic data, Description, Claims, Mosaics (a collection of thumbnails of the drawings), Original document (in pdf format), Cired documents, and/or Citing documents if available


  • To print the page displayed, click on 'Print' in the horizontal tool bar above the title.
  • To print the complete document:
    • Click 'Download' in the horizontal bar
    • You will be asked to 'Please enter the digits that can be read in the image below'
    • After entering the digits as given in the box provided, click 'Submitand follow the instructions

Searching Australian patents

IP Australia is the government agency responsible for grating rights in patents, trade marks and designs. AusPat is the new search system for Australian patents.

The site offers Quick, Structured and Advanced search options (you need to accept the 'Disclaimer' prior to your search). Before searching it would be helpful to read AusPat user guide (pdf), or AusPat Tips and Hints.

Obtaining Australian Patents

Copies can be purchased by contacting IP Australia

Useful websites

International Patent Classification (IPC) 'a hierarchical classification system used primarily to classify and search patent documents (patent applications, specifications of granted patents, utility models, etc.) according to the technical fields they contain'.

Recent Patents on ...

Monash University Library also holds a number of journals that contain articles written by experts on recent patents in the fields of engineering and more. They include Recent patents on biotechnology; corrosion science; engineering; nanotechnology; and space technology.

To view these journals:

  • go to the Library Search
  • select Advanced search
  • in the first dropdown box, select in the title
  • in the search box, type recent patents on
  • for Material Type, select Journals
  • press Enter