Freedom to Operate - FTO - Search
Freedom to operate means that a party is given the right to make a commercial use of its product or process in a particular country or geographical region. In this a comprehensive search is conducted with regard to active patent publications, expired patent publications, pending patent applications in the geographical location where the product or process is to be launched , non patent literature. It is a mandatory search from the point of view of a company prior to investing in purchasing an invention. It seeks to establish that a proposed invention does not infringe any in-force patents. This type of search helps in taking appropriate business decisions and identifies likely obstacles to commercialization of products and technologies. This search is conducted in order to find patents with claims that could prevent a business from manufacturing and marketing a particular product.
The scope of freedom to operate search covers Granted patents (expired and unexpired), published patent applications and Non-patent literature unlike infringement search that covers just the unexpired patents. Freedom to Operate Search is not country specific like infringement search and attempts to protect the technology world wide. This is a typical due diligence action and forestalls potential infringement. By conducting a freedom to operate search one can establish that the particular invention introduced does not infringe the intellectual property rights of others and is a very good safeguard against future litigation. In the age of globalization, Freedom to Operate Search has great significance in determining the potential of an invention.
We at Biz & Legis have access to an array of patent databases and the same enables us to conduct an in depth research with regard to your freedom to operate in the territory of your choice. We would provide you with clear and detailed report on whether your patent has the freedom to operate or not.