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Freedom To Operate

  • Conducting freedom to operate (FTO) search is a necessary step for the R&D, product development companies, and technology companies before commercialising products, launching of the new product, process or service to avoid IP infringements. It includes a comprehensive patent search to identify and analyse un-expired patents and published patent applications that are present in the jurisdiction of interest.

  • FTO refers to the degree of freedom with which a technology institute or an individual can operate in a particular territory, in a particular technology space without any infringement on intellectual property rights owned by others. There is an enormous amount of data and patents in existence. Thousands of new patents are granted every week. Many patents are hidden as the patents get published on an average only after eighteen months of filing, therefore, there may be a patent being  filled that can affect the even legitimacy of FTO.

  • FTO is used to ensure if a particular action like testing or commercializing a product can be carried on without infringing upon a valid and enforceable intellectual property right. As prevention is better than cure, an advance study and analysis of all the patents granted or filled that could affect freedom to operate commercialization of a product or technology. It minimizes the risk of a business entering a new segment/territory. Defining the degree of freedom to operate is not a simple task.

  • Before we begin the commercialization of our product/technology, it is essential to conduct a freedom to operate (FTO) search to ensure that the desired technology/product can be safely launched in a specific market (countries or regions) without infringing or violating third party intellectual property rights within that particular jurisdiction. It can be conducted at any stage of product life cycle to determine the direction of product/technology development & avoid being attacked for infringement by one or more competitors.

  • A freedom-to-operate analysis also evaluates whether or not the buyer will be able to make, use and/or sell the target company’s products or services, if acquired, without infringing the IP rights of a third party. This analysis identifies potential legal roadblocks, such as valid patent claims of others that may be infringed and thus stand in the way of using the target company’s IP. If any potential blocking patents are identified, a more detailed analysis will likely be needed.

  • FTO helps to mitigate the litigation costs that may be incurred due to an unintentional and unknown infringement in a new market space. IP assessment of third parties in a particular technology domain and within a given jurisdiction helps to evaluate the risk of market entry. Thereafter, the companies can decide which markets to enter and which to refrain from.

  • The process includes extensive search to identify if granted patents or patent applications for identical/similar/related scope, carefully analyse patent claims of broad patents and patent family, identify patents which are > 20 years, and generate report by considering each element.

  • We are here to help you by making recommendation such as continue the development as planned, modify the solution, abandon or change direction based on risk assessment.

 

  • Team has expertise both keyword, sequence search using multiple public and paid databases.