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Patents: Home

What is a patent?

A patent is a right that can be provided to inventors for devices, substances, methods or processes.

What can be patented?

  • mechanical devices & appliances
  • computer-related inventions
  • business methods
  • biological inventions
  • micro-organisms
  • biological materials

A patent protects the owner, enabling them to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without permission for the duration of the patent.

Patents are legally enforceable. 

-- from the IPAustralia website.

Patents user guide

The State Library of South Australia has a useful guide on searching for patents.

Patents in library databases

Patent websites

To find the full-text of a particular patent (or to discover whether a patent exists) various sources are available:



The Lens

Search for specific authors in the scientific literature and find out if their work led to patented innovation.

Can't find a patent?

If you cannot find a patent elsewhere, request it via the library's Document Delivery service or contact IP Australia.

In order for a patent to be tracked down you will usually need to provide information such as patent country, patent number, date and author.