Freedom-To-Operate Search

Freedom to operate search or product clearance search is used to create an opinion that a patent holder is free from all legal obstacles to commercialize (develop, make and market) his/her product in a particular geographic region.

Legal Obstacles include:

  • Valid Patents
  • Trademarks rights
  • Existing Designs

It is important to note that while doing any FTO search:

  • Only live patents are considered that can affect the FTO, Usually a time period of 20 years is granted to a patent by a region’s jurisdiction.
  • Only the jurisdiction covering the market where the product is to be used is taken into consideration while conducting the research.
  • All relevant claims need to be found as each individual claim is relevant and affects the operation of the product.

If an FTO is found to be a negative (i.e., live patents with claims covering the invention to be operated in), the body aiming to operate the invention should:
Not proceed to operate and commercialize the invention.

  • Invalidate or oppose the relevant patent found in the FTO search.
  • Apply for a license or buy the relevant patent.
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How InventionIP can support you for Freedom To Operate Search?

InventionIP creates an exhaustive Freedom To Operate Search report for your invention so that you can accordingly make your future decisions for your application.

Professional
experts

Our experts discuss the technology, your requirements and the extent of your Invention before getting started with your project. Confidentiality is ensured.

Review, analysis and quotation

Your technology/invention is reviewed and accordingly the best discounted fee as per the application is quoted.

Instruction received and work begins

Post fee quotations, your instructions are awaited in order to begin your search. Accordingly, the project is delivered in your requested format.

When and why should you conduct a Freedom to Operate Search?

Generally, a Freedom to Operate search should be carried out as early as possible in the patent’s application cycle.

In doing so, there are two important benefits to it:

  • It avoids unnecessary cost, time and resources that could go into creating the application.
  • Reduces any infringement risk and litigation in the future.

A good FTO can also provide opportunities for licensing and using technology to avoid any threat in future patent litigation.

Difference between Freedom to Operate and Patentability Search

 Freedom to Operate search only looks at live patents while Patentability search dwelves into prior art, patent and non-patent literature.

  • Freedom to Operate is usually more complicated, time consuming and expensive whereas Patentability search is faster to conduct and less expensive than FTO.
  • Patentability answers the question of if the idea and claims are eligible for patent while Freedom to Operate answers the question whether there are any existing patents that may be infringed while operating our product.
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Why InventionIP for Freedom to Operate Search?

  • We provide end-to-end patent searches in all domains.
  • With our patent services, we help save additional resources, time and money spent on products that may not be eligible for use due to legal ramification.
  • Our experts are professionally trained to deliver results with great precision and accuracy.
  • We know our clients’ needs and work continuously to ensure that their needs are met.
  • We make sure to protect the privacy of our client’s patent information through all means.

Freedom To Operate Search FAQ's

  • When should you perform an FTO search?

    Generally, a Freedom to Operate search should be carried out as early as possible in the patent’s application cycle.

  • Who should conduct an FTO search?

    Any organizations or business that is planning on expanding its operation using their patent to other regions should conduct an FTO search.

  • Why do we use Freedom to Operate?

    By conducting an FTO, it helps avoid unnecessary cost, time and resources that could go into creating the application. It also reduces any infringement risk and litigation in the future.

  • How much does a Freedom to Operate search cost?

    The cost depends upon the markets and regions being searched to understand the implications and risks.

  • What is the difference between Patentability and Freedom To Operate?

    Patentability Search/Novelty Search is an in-depth search performed by experts on a patent to identify any prior art related to the invention of a patentee. Meanwhile, Freedom to operate search or product clearance search is used to create an opinion that a patent holder is free from all legal obstacles to commercialize (develop, make and market) his/her product in a particular geographic region.