Australian inventors can now access patent records online thanks to changes made by IP Australia to its patent search system AusPat.
AusPat is a database of patent records dating back to the first patent issued under Commonwealth legislation, and records from 1904 can now be accessed online.
According to Innovation Minister Kim Carr, accessing information online will help innovative companies by making it easier to locate patent inventions.
“AusPat offers a significant improvement on the old process, which had people searching through a myriad of paper, microfiche and electronic systems,” Carr said in a statement.
“The tool will save modern Australian inventors time and effort as they can easily search the inventions that have come before them.”
“The development of AusPat further demonstrates the Government’s commitment to providing the right tools to ensure the patent system protects the ideas of the future.”
“Resource booms will come and go but long-term sustainability must be based on building new industries around smart ideas and innovation.”
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AusPat contains data from more than 7,300 books, 620,000 microfiche films and more than 37 million documents.
Fatima Beattie, deputy director general of IP Australia, says AusPat now features eDossier and full text searching. eDossier provides electronic access to documents relating to the prosecution of patent applications.
“We’ve also released Australian patent specifications back to 1904. The initial release of the full text searching capability in December 2010 included approximately 50% of the full collection,” Beattie says.
“Since that time, the large majority of the remaining specifications have been added. Previously, electronic specifications were only available back to 1998 and these were not text searchable.”
“These two enhancements mean customers will be able to access the majority of the patent records. As for the remaining documentation, IP Australia is working to fill the gap.”
In AusPat, users can now:
- Access responses, reports, amendments and search reports via eDossier.
- Use the full text searching capability to explore the contents of specifications back to 1904.
- Access additional opposition, ownership and publication data.
- Use eJournal – search, browse and print information from AU patent journals.
- Use eRegister – search, browse and print extracts from the Register of Patents.
- Search for applications through the Quick, Structured and Advanced search interfaces.
- Use any of the 28 search fields.
- Use the Name Selector to find variants of applicant and inventor names.
- View, sort, customise and print the results of a search in the “Search Results” page.
A feedback system has also been built into AusPat so that users can easily report issues with the system or data.