Databases for Design Patent Search

A design patent or a design registration is a form of legal protection granted to the ornamental design of a functional item. Design Search helps you determine whether your proposed design is new and distinctive, and therefore worth registering or not. Further, a design search will also determine if a similar design has already been registered, and using that information a manufacturer could decide that whether a new product his/her company is going to launch in a market could possibly infringe any granted design patent or registration. Design Patent Search

Many databases are available which could be used for carrying out a design search. Typically, for searching a registered design usually a user has to use online databases and tools provided by the respective countries’ National IP Offices. Some of such databases have been described along with their features, below:

  1. Design View: Design View has been developed by European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the European National Offices represented in the European Trademark and Design Network (EUTMDN, now EUIPN). Design View has been available since 2012 and has been growing exponentially since the time of its availability to public. This database covers most of the European IP offices but has also been expanded to cover some non-European countries like, USA, China, Canada, Tunisia, Turkey, the Republic of Korea, Morocco, Mexico, and Russian Federation. Design View is available to use free of any charges and is available in 32 languages. It is the most comprehensive tool available for design searches.  Design Patent Search
  1. ASEAN Design View: ASEAN Design View is a design search tool similar to the Design View as described above, and was built to cater to searching for industrial design registrations from ASEAN member states, such as Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. These countries have already added their designs in the database, and further countries are being added over time. ASEAN Design View has been built similar to the Design View (by European Offices) and is available and accessible to the public without any charges.  Design Patent Search 
  1. UK Intellectual Property Office Design Search Database: Although UK Intellectual Property Office does not provide a standalone database for design searches; however, their patent database has a specialized landing page which can be used to find design registrations. Recently, the UKIPO has made the design page separately accessible by any user. In the said database, the user can either search for design registrations using class information for that particular design, or the user can use the available/allotted number of the design registration for finding that particular design patent. The database is available to use free of charge.  Design Patent Search

UK Database is available at:

  1. United States Design Search Database: Similar to UK Intellectual Property Office, the US PTO also does not provide any standalone database for design searches. However, inventors are encouraged to use the USPTO patent database to also search for design patents. The search can be executed by using multiple strategies, such as by limiting the search to find only design patents using US Classification System, which classifies design patent with classification codes ranging from “D01” to “D99”. Further, the database can be used to limit the search results to design patents using “USD” code which is prefixed to every design patent granted number. Also, the user can directly search for a particular design patent, by querying the database with the design patent grant number, or application number if available.  Design Patent Search

USPTO Database is available at:

  1. Canadian Industrial Design Database: Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has a dedicated database for industrial design registrations, which was recently announced. The database is accessible from the CIPO website. The said database is very comprehensive and can be searched by a number of variables, including by keyword, registration date, classification code or text, court order number, etc. Further, the database can be used to find information about the legal status of the registered industrial designs. Furthermore, the database is available in two languages, English and French, and is freely available to public. The Canadian Industrial Design Database is available at:  Design Patent Search

  1. Australian Industrial Design Database: IP Australia which is the governing body for IP matters in Australia, provides a database for design searches which could be used to find design registrations in the Australian region. The said database can be used to look for registered designs using the Australian design search system. Further, the user can also look for earlier similar designs published in documents or on the internet. The user can also use this search tool to determine who owns a design including the contact information in most cases, for example, for obtaining licensing information. Australian design search includes up-to-date information on all applications and registrations from 1986 and all registrations captured from 1973 to 1985 that were still active in 1985. The Australian Industrial Design Database is available at:

  1. German Design Register: It is to be noted that German Patent and Trade Mark Office does not examine whether similar or identical designs have already been filed or already registered. In such case, a possible infringement of design registration may only be examined later in the case of a dispute, which maybe analyzed by the civil courts or the DPMA (in invalidity proceedings). Therefore, in order to effectively defend your design rights in Germany, it becomes even more pertinent to conduct regular searches, for example even after the registration of your design. The electronic DPMA register can be used to conduct free searches for the publication data, the representations of the images as well as for legal (procedural) status information of registered designs. The said database is available at:  Design Patent Search

  1. Russian Register of Industrial Designs: The Russian Patent Database (generally known as ‘Rospatent’) is maintained by Federal Service for Intellectual Property. Rospatent can be used free of charge and can be accessed by using ‘Guest’ credentials provided on the landing page; however, for accessing full-text of some patents, in some cases there might be some charges that needs to be paid. In accordance to the statistics of the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property, there were 28,312 industrial designs which have already been patented in Russia as on 1st December, 2015. These industrial designs can be searched using various filters. The said database is available at:
  1. BOIP (Benelux design database): The Benelux Designs Register is the official publication register for drawings and designs registered in the Benelux Union, which is a politico-economic union of three neighboring states in western Europe: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. It contains information on and images of drawings and designs registered in the Benelux and valid as of 1 January 2012 or registered at a later date. The register can also be used to consult information relating to renewals of registrations and changes to registrations. The said database is available at:  Design Patent Search

  1. J-Plat Pat (Japanese platform for IP information): The Japan Platform for Patents (J-Plat Pat) is a patent searching platform launched on March 23, 2015 by the Japan Patent Office (JPO). The database is designed to offer patent information including information on designs and trademarks. The platform provides a matrix of search options, including ‘Number search,’ ‘Classification search,’ ‘Text search,’ and ‘Classification’ based search. Further, searching by FI/F-term keywords is also possible using this platform. A more specific search is possible by narrowing down the search results with 3 items: ‘Abstract,’ ‘Title of invention,’ and ‘Applicant.’ This service is actually a successor to the Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) service which has now been discontinued by the JPO. The service comes in both English and Japanese language versions. The said database is available at:  Design Patent Search

  1. Indian Design Application Information Retrieval System: Indian Design Application Information Retrieval System was launched by the patent office for searching Indian Design Applications as well as the status of the registered design applications. The database is part of IPAIRS system which is used for searching published and granted patent applications. The database offers many search options, including searching the results by name of article, name of inventor, name of assignee, applicant country, classification codes, as well as filtering the documents by respective dates, e.g. date of filing, priority, etc. The database is available in English language and is accessible free of any charge. The said database is available at:  Design Patent Search

  1. State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO): The access to the Chinese published and granted design registrations is provided by State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the P.R.C. The English website of the State Intellectual Property Office of China offers a free search engine for Chinese patent information, patent as well as design search. A user can find English abstracts of Chinese design registrations in the Patent Search and Service System available on the SIPO website. A user can retrieve bibliographic data, application information, corrections, SIPO actions, decisions and other documents on file. In addition, the Chinese design registrations can also be searched and accessed via Design View (as described earlier). The said database is available at:

  1. WIPO Global Design Database: WIPO Global Design Database was launched back in January 2015. It offers the ability to search industrial designs registered in many countries around the world. This database is accessible free of charge and publicly available on the WIPO website. This database enables free, simultaneous searches of about 1,730,000 industrial designs registered around the IP offices of the world under the WIPO-administered Hague System and/or in participating national collections. This database offers searching using various methods, including filtering of results by Locarno classification, which was established by the Locarno Agreement (1968) and is an international classification system used for the purposes of the registration of industrial designs. The WIPO Global Design Database is available at:

  1. WIPO Hague Express: The Hague Express database of WIPO allows free access to publication data and the current legal status of international registrations, including applications. The Hague database from the WIPO hosts industrial designs from around the world. The Hague Express Database is updated weekly, and includes bibliographical data and international registrations governed exclusively by Hague Agreement. The database further provides the advantage that the International registrations that have lapsed are not removed from the database. The database allows search by design number, title of the design article, names of the inventor or assignee if such information is available, relevant dates like filing date, country information, etc. This database offers searching using various methods, including filtering of results by Locarno classification The WIPO Hague Express database is available at:

This concludes our series of articles on databases for design searches.

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