Freedom-to-Operate Search

Do you have freedom/ clearance before launching or or commercialization your product/ process/ technology in the specific jurisdiction?

Freedom to operate (FTO)/ clearance searches are one of the most important steps before commercializing/ Launching a product/ technology/ process/ device into specific markets for intended customers. Comprehensive FTO search becomes essential in today's dynamic and risk prone market wherein not only corporate but even universities/ research centers vigorously try not only to protect their Intellectual property but at times play tactics to maintain a monopolistic market position to prevent competition in the market place. Product managers/ in-house IP professionals need to understand that it's not only the specific IP mapping on the product but also foundational IP that needs to be assessed before finalizing any market launch or R&D decisions. FTO search is very crucial and should be conducted at various stages of product/ technology development. Below are the primary reasons for conducting a FTO search:

  • * Understanding Potential Threats before entering market
  • * "Design-around" strategies to avoid potential infringement
  • * Being prepared in advance for potential litigation issues
  • * Knowing the right licensing agencies/ corporate
  • * Future R & D initiatives/ direction

Our technical team at PatInnovate is well equipped with extensive training, industry experience, and best-in-class tools and databases to conduct a comprehensive FTO search both at Research & Development or Commercialization stage. Once we receive the technology details, technical expert understands the legal scope and proposes search options based on risk coverage from narrow to broad. With experience, Skillset and awareness, technical expert can suggest appropriate search scope based on product/ technology stage and industry dynamics. We always thrive to save time and effort for our clients; hence encourage amended claim analysis by extracting latest claims from national patent office registers. Although, we encourage Researchers and In-house IP teams to conduct searches, we always recommend a professional search firm that may assist in a more informed decision. Below are the some key aspects that are essentially covered irrespective of the search scope:

  • * Jurisdictions/ Territories of interest (intended launch geographies)
  • * Legal Status (both active and recently expired IP should be thoroughly reviewed)
  • * PCT coverage (we suggest including recent PCTs irrespective of targeted countries)
  • * Relevancy Criteria (Inclusion/Exclusion based on technical discussion with stakeholders)
  • * Key feature – Identifying and scoping of key features associated with technology/ product

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