Imagine you’ve come up with a fantastic idea that has a lot of potential. You begin working on it with the product development team, investing millions of dollars in research and development. You secure various features of your product by obtaining patents on them after completing a patentability search since you understand the value of having good IP. Your product is now ready for market, but there remains a major hurdle.
You made one serious error during the process, which could cost you the launch and lead to unnecessary lawsuits. You might wonder what went wrong. You relied on patentability search until the very end, then switched to a Freedom to Operate search just before the product’s commercialization.
You discovered that you cannot launch the product using the Freedom to Operate search. Multiple patents are infringed by your product, including patents held by your competitors. Furthermore, you have already spent millions on patent registration and product development, so cancelling the product launch is not an option.
In this case, you are left with only two options:
License or buy the relevant patents
Invalidate the relevant patents.
These solutions might work, but they’ll cost you at least thousands of dollars, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll keep you out of litigation.
This problem can easily be avoided by doing Freedom to Operate search early in the product development process. Conducting Freedom to Operate search ahead of time has additional advantages. It could help you identify and avoid most patent-related barriers during the development phase.
In an earlier post, we shared the cases that highlights the benefits of Freedom to operate search and thorough analysis, which may assist other corporations or enterprises in marketing their products in different countries without concern of infringing on any valid patent or patent application under prosecution.
Today, we will share with you one Freedom to operate- VPN case handled by Wissen research.
FREEDOM TO OPERATE- VPN CASE STUDY
OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT
The client partnered with Wissen Research to perform a freedom-to-operate analysis for PORTABLE VPN in US.
To identify all active patents that could block the right to use of their VPN device.
A virtual private network is a network utilizing the encrypting technology of the Internet Protocol (IP) to establish a virtual tunnel through the Internet in order to form a structure similar to a private network.
The encrypting technology used in the VPN protocol is IP Security (IPsec). IPsec integrates several securities, such as encryption, authentication, key management and digital certification, so that it provides outstanding performance for data protection.
The present product relates to a portable plug-and-play VPN virtual private network (VPN) system used to provide VPN service to a host device, comprising 6 critical components.
1. Processor and a memory
2. USB port
3. Ethernet/LAN port.
4. Wi-Fi Adaptor
5. A power port/wire
6. An application to configure settings
ACTION / APPROACHES
A 2-member team of electrical engineers from Wissen research was assigned to this particular project.
We studied the VPN domain and its working principles and began our search after gaining a thorough understanding by examining key features individually and making all possible relevant combinations of sub-key features.
Conducted search on the basis of keywords and most relevant Patent classifications, Inventors assignees.
We looked for both active and inactive patents, however our main focus was on alive/active patents that claimed the product’s features.
During search, we got approx. 5000 hits, which were further analyzed shortlisted by our experts to provide accurate result to our client.
Detailed analysis report is prepared.
Patent Analysts at Wissen Research conducted an exhaustive clearance analysis of the subject matter feature by feature against the independent claims of all the inforce patents.
Besides the In-force patents in US, Wissen Research also analyzed the WIPO applications. (filed within last 3 years were considered)
The high quality report was delivered.
Since the report was sent to the client well before the committed date, the client was extremely pleased and thanked our team for the prompt and high-quality delivery. Our analysis proved that the given subject matter did not infringe on any in-force patent.
Additional features of inactive patents of our Freedom to Operate search report helped client to improve their product from all possible directions and eventually lead to a more effective product that can have a good market without worrying about litigation.
An FTO search is a critical component of an impeccable business plan. One can execute plan with complete confidence based on the findings of the Freedom to Operate search (positive or negative).
The search can be performed in-house (with skilled resources) or outsourced to a reputable third party like Wissen research. Wissen research- Freedom to Operate Search service is designed to provide cost-effective and exact analysis in a timely manner.