Successful IP strategy depends upon a proper understanding of your technical and commercial market position within the prevailing competitive landscape. This commonly involves searching for prior IP rights and mapping the IP landscape to ensure freedom to operate in target markets and the opportunity to protect innovation – including new manufacturing processes, products, services and brands – in those markets.


Shelston IP provides a comprehensive range of specialist IP searching and watching services including:

  • patent, trade mark and design registrability searches to determine the options for IP protection in respect of proposed new products, processes, designs or brands, locally and internationally
  • patent, trade mark and design infringement searches to explore whether the manufacture or sale of proposed new products, processes, designs or brands may infringe prior third-party IP rights in particular jurisdictions
  • patent, trade mark and design name searches to explore the scope of current IP rights of particular competitors or other parties of interest
  • searches to ascertain the availability for use and registration of company, business and domain names
  • patent subject matter or “collection” searches to explore the current state of the art in particular technical fields of interest
  • watching services to monitor the progress or status of particular patent, trade mark or design applications or registrations
  • watching services to monitor the IP activity of specific competitors
  • watching services to monitor the IP activity in particular fields of technology or market sectors.

For patent searching, we access a large number of publicly and privately accessible commercial databases, including PatBase, STN (including Derwent), Inpadoc, TotalPatent, WIPO (PatentScope), AusPat, Chinese Patent Office (SIPO), Korean Patent Office (KIPRIS) and European Patent Office (EPO Espacenet).

Similarly, for trade mark searching, we have access to a comprehensive set of global search platforms and databases, including ATMOSS and MainFrame (IP Australia), IPONZ (New Zealand), Avantiq / Inspiro (international trade marks), Romarin (WIPO), TMview (Europe), USPTO, SAIC (Chinese Trademark Office), Japanese Trade Mark Office.

We also conduct common law searches on a wide range of publicly and privately accessible databases, including domain name searches (INSTRA, Melbourne IT, Whois Lookup Domain, and all other major Domain name registries), company and business name searches (ASIC, SAI Global), NZ Company Office, a’Courts (NZ brands).

We regularly use both bibliographic and full text searching and our search reports are concise, logical and commercially-oriented.

Through all of this, we assist our clients to formulate an appropriate search strategy, integrated with their overall business plans, to help guide their research, product development or brand strategies. This can optimise the effectiveness of their IP protection and sustainable competitive advantage, while minimising the risk of infringement of prior rights.