Company & industry information

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are kindly advised that this website includes images, sounds and names of people who have passed.

All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available

Australian Patents

In the State Library collection

The Patent collection held in the State Library is very small. All held in our offsite storage.

Only the Letter of Registration of Inventions 1854 - 1884 contains specifications, drawings, and diagrams. Use the index to find the application number to request the required volumes from our offsite storage.

If you are looking for specifications/drawings of a patent, try contacting:

New South Wales

Australia (from 1904 onwards)

History of Patent Registration

Prior to the mid-1850s, when NSW passed its first patent legislation, Australian inventors had to apply to the Patent Office in London in order to attain a patent in Australia.

Until 1904, when patent registration was federalised, each state had their own patents office. 

Patent records held in Canberra

What is a patent?

According to IP Australia:

"A patent is a legally enforceable right for a device, substance, method or process. For your application to be successful, your invention must be new, useful and inventive or innovative. When granted, a patent will give exclusive commerical rights to your invention (a monopoly)."