Step 2 - Develop Keyword(s) When Patent Searching In Australia

Using the description from Step 1, develop keyword(s) that are relevant to your idea. It is imperative to include all alternative spellings (e.g. color and colour) and variations of words (e.g. soft drinks and soda) to identify relevant patent documents when patent searching in Australia. It is often helpful to use a thesaurus to find synonyms and antonyms of words to broaden your keyword(s) before carrying out patent searching in Australia.

Some databases provide the option of truncating your keyword(s) when patent searching in Australia. For example, Esp@cenet allows the following truncations:

  • * - stands for a string of characters of any lengthe.g. advertis* = advertise, advertised, advertises, advertisement, advertising
  • ? - stands for zero or one charactere.g. advertise? = advertise, advertised or advertises
  • # - stands for exactly one character e.g. advertise# = advertised or advertises

We recommend that you group related keyword(s) together such that it is easier to create Boolean search statements when patent searching in Australia. For example, if the idea is a new engine for a car, the keywords and groups may look like this when patent searching in Australia:

Group number



car, vehicle, automobile


motor, engine

By grouping keywords you can quickly create Boolean search statements like:

(car OR vehicle OR automobile) AND (motor OR engine)

Each database may have different Boolean operators and its own syntax. Therefore, we recommend checking operators from the specific web site you will use before you start patent searching in Australia.