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While working in a competitive environment, one small mistake can cause damage to various resources including your time, assets and money also open gates to various litigations which are completely avoidable, if you perform an in-depth Freedom to Operate search.
First of all, let’s understand What Freedom to Operate (FTO) mean in IP?
As the name suggests, Freedom to Operate means that a company has the liberty to involve in trade activities like the development, manufacturing and selling of a product without impacting the IP rights of an individual or a company. Freedom to Operate search enables a company to determine whether its product or procedure is infringing the claims of an active patent. A Freedom to Operate search is also known as a Clearance Search, Right to Use Search and Non-Infringement Opinion.
The main purpose of the Freedom to operate search (FTO Search) is to investigate the patent landscape so that active patents that may prevent you to operate freely can be discovered. Also, Freedom to operate search (FTO Search) helps you to predict and avoid any Patent infringement and litigation risk beforehand.
Who should conduct an FTO search?
To determine whether a product or procedure could be done in a specific jurisdiction any individual inventor or a company can conduct an FTO search. This will help to gain 100% confidence that there will be no litigation risk or patent infringement in the future.
At what stage of the product cycle freedom to operate FTO search is usually performed?
Ideally, an FTO search is done before launching a product in the market. But, the best time to conduct an FTO search is when your product is in the development stage because your product will be infringing on anyone’s active patent. You can make modifications to your product without any issues as it becomes difficult to do so when you are about to launch your product.
Wissen Research team benefits the client in a thorough exploration of the claims in a utility patent that enable the client to acknowledge certain critical characteristics that must be avoided in the product. This empowers the client to design around the patent by modifying future versions of the product.
The idea of Freedom to Operate search (FTO search) is to offer the client a list of patents upon which their product or technology could be infringing. Benefits of Freedom to Operate Search