Strategies / Freedom to operate

“Is it possible to assess whether a new product is liable to infringe earlier patents?”

A new product is about to be launched: is there a risk that it might infringe third-party patent rights?

Strategies-Freedon to OperateIt is possible to assess such a risk, and establish which actions should be taken, by performing a Freedom to operate (FTO) patent search.

FTO searches aim to identify patent rights liable to hinder the marketing of a product in a given geographical area.

In many cases an FTO search is carried out for the purpose of avoiding the high costs of legal proceedings for patent infringement, or of a forced withdrawal of the product from the market. An FTO search can also be useful in identifying the holders of desirable patents for licensing purposes, or to direct r&d activities towards products that are not covered by third-party patents.

Our Freedom to operate service

We analyse the product on which the search is based in order to identify its significant technical features and determine which criteria the search should employ. Once search keys have been identified, we perform searches in highly specialised databases to find relevant patents valid in the countries where the product is going to be marketed. We analyse such patents in order to assess their ambit of protection and hence their degree of interference with the product.

We present the client with the results of the investigation, along with an opinion that includes a global assessment of risks and suggestions useful for reaching a decision.

The service is agreed upon with the client and is normally personalised according to the client’s specific needs and requests.

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