Freedom to Operate Search or Clearance Search ensures that your product does not infringe on any claim of an active patent. It assesses that the design or the development of your product is infringing upon the patent. Various organizations and the inventors conduct FTO search to eliminate all the possible hurdles in the launch of their product.
This blog highlights what is FTO search. It elaborates how FTO search can be helpful to inventors in staying ahead of the competition.
Related Article – Patentability Search: Everything You Need To Know
When and Who Should Perform FTO Search?
Timings of performing FTO search is important. It is during the right timing that the FTO search can yield productive results. The investors or the organizations can perform Clearance Search during these times:
When The Product is its initial stage
Performing a FTO search when the product is in its developing stage can yield multiple benefits. It allows you to modify the design of the product given that the FTO search turns out to be unfavorable for your organization. It restricts the risk of the future litigation and avoid expenses. Working around the design of your product so it does not infringe on any claim of active patent will increase the chance of getting patent rights.
Before the launch of the product
The inventors can perform the clearance search before launching the product. In case, if the FTO search turns to be negative, the inventor can resort to various other options. The investor can approach for the patent licensing opportunity or try to invalidate the patent. He/she can choose to modify the design of the product to eliminate the probable risk of infringement.
After Receiving The Patent Grant
Organizations or the inventors can undertake the Freedom to operate search post patent grant. FTO search provides invaluable information to the investors. They can determine the possibility of infringement risk in the future. Having access to this information can turn out to be favorable for startups looking for investors.
What are the benefits of performing FTO Search?
Conducting FTO search offers multiple benefits to the organizations.
- Save Cost – Performing FTO search in the initial stages of the product development can save cost. By conducing Clearance Search, the inventor get to know the chances of possible infringement. The inventors can avoid infringement cases by altering the design of the product.
- Explore the opportunity of Licensing – The inventor can explore the opportunity of licensing. If the Freedom to Operate Search is negative, the inventor can approach the patent owner to license his/her patent. Licensing eliminates the risk of the infringement.
- Explore a range of patent – During the FTO search process, you may come across different patent technologies that you may find relevant. There may be patent that features same technology as your product. Thus, you may consider the possibility of buying or acquiring such patent to enhance your IP portfolio. Another benefit of this is that it will eliminate the risk of future infringement litigation.
Factors To Consider While Performing FTO Search
There are a lot of factors that you need to consider while performing a clearance search. Take a look at the best factors you need to consider for clearance search.
It is important to consider conducting FTO Search in the country where you want to launch your product. In addition to that, you must consider all the medium of getting patent in that particular jurisdiction. Otherwise, you may miss out on some important patents. There will still be a risk of patent infringement.
Type of Patent
Another thing to consider while performing Clearance Search is the type of patent. If you are protecting the design of your product, consider looking for the design patent. On the other hand, if you want to protect the functional aspect of your invention, you can look out for utility patents.
Freedom To Operate search is a vital strategic tool for an organization. It plays a significant role in preventing you from the risk of future infringement litigation. Thus, performing a clearance search instills a sense of peace and comfort in the mind of the inventors. Depending upon the results of the Clearance Search, an inventor or the organization can take action to eliminate the risk of the infringement.
Hire PDC for FTO Search
So, if you are looking forward to conducting Freedom To Operate Search, Our team can help you with that. We have a team of experts who have knowledge about the laws in different countries. Our team holds years of experience and expertise in conducting a Clearance Search. We identify the patent that seem similar to your invention to reduce the risk of the infringement.
To know more about us or our services, you can get in touch with.