Patent Searching

Why search?

Searching can help you see whether there is anything similar in the market place which may affect the likelihood of your invention getting patent protection. A search can avoid wasting time and money by applying for protection for something that has already been invented. It can also be useful to obtain competitive product information and to make sure your product does not infringe someone else’s patent.

  • Search published patents, the internet and trade publications to find out if your invention is new and to check for similar inventions.
  • Check to see if your IP is being infringed
  • Check patent documents for possible solutions to technical and production problems. 
  • Obtain product information on your competitors for research purposes and to establish what is already known.
  • Before beginning to manufacture, check whether you could be hindered by an existing patent.
  • Use a search to find potential licensors and business partners.
  • Check if a similar patent to your invention already exists.
  • See if there are patents available to license in your area of technology.

The links below take you directly to each of the Patent Searching features of our site and to several other useful patent search engines:

Other patent information websites. UK Patent Office European Patent Office

The 'Links' section of the European Patent Office website contains lists of other commercial information service providers, resources and Patent Attorneys. It also has a link to the EPO's 'ESPACENET' search engine. WIPO’s PATENTSCOPE database provides access to international Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications in full text format on the day of publication, as well as to patent documents of participating national and regional patent offices. World Intellectual Property Organisation - Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) Netherlands Intellectual Property Office - PION search engine (Registration required) - US Patent Office searchable database - A commercial provider of Patent Searching and information - Canadian Intellectual Property Office IP Australia The Google Patent Search facility provides access to around 7 million US granted patent documents