Media Arts & Design: Product design

Product design

When designing an item you may want to find information on:

  • guidelines or specifications you need to follow
  • similar products that are already out there
  • information and statistics on the intended users of your item

The information on this page will provide you with links and tips to find the information you need

What is a standard?

“Close-up of colored pencils” by Johnny Magnusson CC0 1.0 Universal (, image source: Freestock photos [ ]"Standards are documents setting out specifications, procedures and guidelines. They are designed to ensure products, services and systems are safe, reliable and consistent."
(Standards Australia).

There are 3 kinds of standards:

  • International
  • Regional
  • National

Standards are developed by various bodies, agencies, trade and professional association. Some standards are voluntary others are enforced by legislation - mandatory.

Australian standards

Standards Australia, an independent organisation, produces most of the Australian standards. Its policy is to adopt International Standards wherever possible.


Statista the statistics portal for market data, market research and market studies. It contains:

  • Industry statistics from market, trade, scientific and government sources
  • Infographics - visualising current topics
  • Advanced search - sort results by date, category and region

Watch the Statista tutorial on Search Functionality

Australian Bureau of Statistics


A patent is a right that is granted for any device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive and useful. A patent is a legally enforceable right to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent.
taken from the IP Australia website

More information on Patents see our Patents and Standards guide

There are 2 types of patents granted in Australia:

Find out about the differences in the type of inventions they cover and the length of protection they offer on the IP Australia website.

An Australian patent provides protection only within Australia. To obtain similar protection in other countries you generally have 2 choices:

  • File separate patent applications in each country
  • File a single international application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), this will take effect in all (152) member countries, including Australia. This is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Searching IP Australia for patents and designs

Scopus for patents

is a multidisciplinary database featuring scholarly material which also contains more than 23 million patents from 5 patent offices (US, European, Japan, UK and World Intellectual Property Organization)

To search for a patent:

  • type in your terms, e.g. "patient alarm" in the search box
  • in the results screen, click on the View patents results tab to display these results

  • use Refine options to limit your results including to specific patent offices

Company and Industry Information