Freedom-to-Operate (FTO), Infringement, Clearance
Infringing on a patent – even when it’s done accidentally – can be a costly mistake. In most cases, companies that infringe on existing patents experience a serious set-back in the marketplace, must pay heavy damages or licensing fees, or a combination of the above. An infringement (or freedom-to-operate) search uncovers and reviews the claims of patents that your business could be in danger of infringing upon.
This search type is also known as Right to Practice (RTP), Right to Use (RTU), or Clearance.
Benefits of an Infringement or FTO Search
- Uncover patents your business could be in danger of infringing
- Avoid heavy damages or licensing fees
- Prepare for licensing opportunities or other IP strategy moves
Resources, Coverage and Foreign Language Options
TPR will utilize the resources and approach most effective for the given technology and budget which can include:
- Online databases for patent literature
- On-site searching at patent offices
- Keyword and/or classification-based searching as well as and special coding/indexing (i.e. chemical structures, sequences, polymers, etc.)
TPR can search patents and applications in specific countries where the use, manufacture, or sale of a product is being considered. For a greater level of diligence in your infringement/freedom-to-operate decisions, searching is also available on the ground in various countries and languages (consider on the ground searching in China, for example).