Freedom to Operate Search (FTO)

Freedom to Operate Search (FTO)

Posted on: September 9, 2015

Freedom to Operate (FTO) is an evaluation of whether you infringe the patent, design or trademark rights of another entity.

Freedom to Operate from a patent perspective means that you have established with a reasonable certainty that your product does not infringe the Intellectual Property rights of others. Mentioning "with a reasonable certainty" is because "freedom to operate" can never be determined with absolute certainty due to inherent features of the patent system.

When to perform a Freedom-to-Operate Search?

  • Prior to launching a product in a specific region.
  • Prior to finalizing a product design
  • Before developing a product, or investing in a marketing strategy.

FTO Analysis Provides:

  • Analysis of the principles. An expert looks at the technology or product a company is planning to use or produce;
  • All accessible information about existing intellectual property rights, which are in force.
  • Technical comparison analysis and determines, if the technology/product, to be produced by the company, is infringing any patents or not.
  • If yes, we examines, in which countries the corresponding patents are valid and how long the protection will last.
  • Finally with the recommendation on how to act further.

What is the outcome of a FTO analysis?

After FTO analysis, the recommendations with some risk assessment. Possible recommendations after freedom-to-operate analysis may comprise aspects like:

  • Consider buying a license
  • Consider buying a patent
  • Change the technology or a product in a way, that it would not infringe any third party IPR
  • Limit activities to markets, where the technology is not protected

Why Einfolge:

Our FTO search services helps in identifying potential patent barriers to the commercialization of your products or technologies. Our FTO searches or Right to Use Search include a clear presentation of relevant claim language that relates to patents which may be relevant to your product or service. Einfolge helps clients to identify risks of patent infringement and identifies potential workarounds. We perform our searched in US & foreign patent subscribed databases to provide a global FTO coverage report.


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