A patent is a government license that gives the holder (inventor) a set of exclusive rights to a process, design or a new invention for a limited period of time without fear of competition.
Below are some well-known, freely available online patent databases.
AusPat - IP Australia
In Australia, most patents are valid for 20 years and applications for patents are handled by the patent office, part of IP Australia. Use the AusPat (Australian Patents Register) to search for Australian patents. Through IP Australia, it is also possible to search for international patents, as well as trade marks.
USPTO - U.S.
In the U.S., the applications and documentations are handled by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Espacenet is a free online service for searching patents and patent applications developed by the European Patent Office (EPO) along with the member states of the European Patent Organisation.
The Lens is an open cyberinfrastructure that has as a goal making the innovation system more efficient, transparent and inclusive. It patents the documents from around the world, as well as Australian patents.Through Lens, it is possible to search for patents that cite specific authors in the scientific literature.
Google Patents allows for searching and reading the full text of patent grants and applications from around the world.
Standards are published documents that set out specifications, procedures and guidelines that aim to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistent ('What is a Standard?').
Access to both the Australian and International Standards is via the Australian Standards on i2i platform (database) listed on the Databases A-Z page.
Australian Standards on i2i platform (SAI Global)
Australian Standards are sold and distributed worldwide by SAI Global Limited. Australian Standards on i2i contains a collection of Australian and joint Australian/ISO and NZ/Australian standards in full-text, including a small number of selected ISO standards. It also indexes ISO, IEC, EN, ANSI, ASTM, BSI, DIN, ETSI, JSA, and NSAI standards. Refer to the Accessing Australian Standards on i2i platform for the instructions on how to access the platform.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA) develops global standards in a wide range of industries, including information technology, robotics, power utility, energy projects, health informatics, electric systems, telecommunications, nanotechnology, information assurance, and others.
You may search or browse current IEEE published standards through the IEEE Xplore Digital Library database. To view standards available in IEEE Xplore, select 'Standards' under the blue 'Browse' button located on the main menu bar. On the 'Browse' standards page you can search by keywords or standard number.
Additionally, there are some resources such as e-books, print books or media resources referring to AS, ISO and other standards available from the library. To find them, conduct a search by the standard number, or keywords, e.g. ISO9001, or "quality assurance" for example.
Australian Standards database, provided by SAI Global Standards, maintains the world’s largest repository of standards and technical publications, including the complete collection of current Australian Standards. ISO standards are included on the platform.
Standards Australia have updated how their content can be used ensuring that users comply with the Digital Rights Management (DRM), and do not breach the license requirements for Standards.
Australian Standards are now accessed via the new i2i Platform through the A-Z Databases. The i2i Platform is a customisable secure online service for organising standards and technical information for storage, retrieval and distribution.
Accessing and viewing standards online on the i2i Platform is easy, and does not require an individual registration and installation of any software. If not already logged in, a user will be taken to the MyVU portal login page to log in with their student or staff ID to access the platform.
However, to access and open a standard's PDF file, which is DRM (Digital Rights Management) protected, a Plugin will need to be installed and the document accessed via a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader. Similarly, for mobile devices, accessing DRM protected PDFs is by using a supported PDF reader or an app.
Follow the steps below to download the FileOpen plugin.
Contact the VU Library Digital Services at email@example.com if you have worked through the outlined process and require further assistance.
Follow the steps below to obtain your Australian Standard.
Please Note: The Library has 3 concurrent user licenses to the i2i, so it is important to log out when you have finished using the platform.
1. Link to 'A - Z Databases' from the Library website
2. Search for 'Australian Standards' and select the 'Australian Standards on i2i'
3. Login to MyVU
5. As part of the automatic registration process for the Australian Standards on i2i (SAI Global Subscription), you will receive an email from i2i SAIG Helpdesk. You will be prompted to confirm sign-in registration by clicking on the link in your VU email inbox.
6. If you get redirected to the 'Log in to i2i' interface, shown below, please go back to the A-Z Databases page and click again on the 'Australian Standards on i2i' hyperlink, as mentioned in step 2 above. This will now ensure you reach the i2i's search interface.
7. i2i Search interface
1. Enter the Standard number (e.g. AS/NZS ISO '9000') or the title or keyword (e.g. 'quality management systems') of the standard you require and click on 'Search'.
2. Select the Standard you would like to view.
3. The summary of the Standard will open up. Click on 'View Online' to view it in full.
4. As a preferred option, view the Standard online, which is straightforward and easy. As a second option, download the Standard, which subsequently requires downloading the OpenFile plugin.
As soon as you access the Australian Standards on the i2i Platform, an email will be sent to you as part of the registration process for the SAI Global Subscription. You do not need to do anything else with this email unless you would like to download a standard, in which case you would need to confirm the sign-in registration in your VU inbox.
Steps for downloading a Standard, if desired, are outlined further below.
1. Go to your VU inbox and select 'Confirm Sign-in Registration'.
2. Select 'Login'.
3. Repeat steps 1 - 3 in the above 'Search for the Standard' box to find and select the required Standard, reaching the summary of the Standard. This time select the 'Download' option.
4. Select 'Download Plug-in' to install the OpenFile plugin if not already installed on your device. FileOpen plugin for Windows/Mac/Linux and FileOpen View for iOS/Android can be directly downloaded for free here: http://plugin.fileopen.com. If the FileOpen plugin had previously been installed, select 'Continue'.
5. The Standard has been queued for downloading. Select 'Download' to begin the downloading process. The download request should start being fulfilled, and the PDF of the standard made visible in the bottom left of the 'Download Request' page
6. Using your mouse, left-click on the drop-down arrow of the downloaded file's icon in the bottom left of the 'Download Request' page, and choose for the file to 'Show in Folder' (see the image below). After this, the PDF of the standard will be shown in the 'Downloads' folder. Now it will be possible to open the standard's PDF file in Acrobat Reader by either double-clicking on the file or by right-clicking on the file and choosing 'Open with > Adobe Reader (or Adobe Acrobat DC) (see the image below). Opening of the standard's PDF procedure is important, as otherwise, if you try and open the PDF file without selecting it to 'Show in Folder', the PDF will not open, and you will get an 'Error - Failed to load PDF document' message.
7. The Standard is now displayed in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Downloaded standards are saved to your local machine only and cannot be shared. If you wish to print the standard, click on the print icon. In many cases, you may be able to print a standard only once. All downloaded and printed standards will be stamped with an access date and your name. You may edit the document, but there is no ability to cut and paste from the document.
8. This one and previously accessed standard(s) will be shown in Adobe's 'Recent' folder and will stay there for 30 days, during which they can either be viewed or printed. After this period of time, it will still be possible to download the same standard(s) if needed.