Since a patent has limited time span, scope and is applicable in particular countries, Freedom to Operate (FTO) or Clearance Search helps to evaluate whether a proposed product has freedom to operate in a country. Freedom to Operate/Clearance Search determines any infringement of a patent by a product or service to be launched. It is a jurisdiction-based search that evaluates any intellectual property rights that may hinder the manufacturing and marketing of a product in particular countries. A FTO search conducted can help in deciding the direction of product development.
It can be conducted at any stage of product life cycle from launching a product to finalizing its design to determine the direction of product/technology development.
To perform an FTO, we require the description of the product with its key features that needs clearance and the geographic regions where one intends to legally commercialize the product. After the product’s key features has been approved by the client, an extensive jurisdiction-based search is executed focusing on the scope of the patents including the patent applications.
Why to go for the FTO search?
- FTO helps to assess the risk of potential infringement within a given jurisdiction and avoid subsequent litigation by evaluating IP of third parties in a particular technology domain.
- FTO analysis can also assist in tracking the prosecution status of patents (whether the patent is expired or in-force). This would help in devising the timing of launching the product into market without worrying of third party IP infringement.
- FTO helps in exploring potential licensing and mergers or acquisitions amongst the assignee in the specific technology.
- Finally, FTO helps in exploring potential licensing and mergers or acquisitions amongst the assignee in the specific technology.
Our team understands the significance of a thorough in-depth patent research. We have subject matter experts in many areas of technology. Our experienced analysts utilize best strategies to uncover essential information. We follow a ‘right person for right patent’ approach wherein we make sure that the project team comprises domain specific experts.
We provide a customized Freedom to Operate search report which maps the features of the product to the claims patentreferences and recommendations along with an exhaustive patent bucket, consisting of relevant classes, and inventors; a description of the search strings used to locate the data
Our FTO searches include a clear presentation of relevant claim language that relates to patents which may be relevant to your product or service. Our results also comprises of graphical representation of the competitors and their patented work. We assist in identifying risks of patent infringement and potential workarounds.
Information is also graphically represented using a combination of intuitive graphs, pie-charts, bubble charts and 2-D and 3-D charts.