Patent Freedom to Operate
The freedom to operate process generally comprises an in-depth search and review of publicly available patent documents that relate to your commercial/pipeline products. The purpose is to identify whether a third-party owns any patent rights that may stop you from placing your product on the market.
The FTO search may be conducted at any stage, but is most commonly conducted before or during a due diligence process, which is often required for a company purchases or a milestone investment, before commencing next-stage research or a development project, or as a part of a regular IP health-check.
We work with you to decide on the breadth of the search and appropriate search criteria. We then either conduct the searches in-house or instruct an external a search provider to gather the raw data, which we analyse and present in a report that is useful to your business.
Our team of patent specialists, including patent litigators and patent attorneys, are able to provide commercially-focussed advice on when to conduct FTO searches, and to quantify risks and provide options to overcome any issues identified by the FTO analysis. This may include defensive strategies such as licensing, arbitration and design-arounds, or more offensive strategies such as infringement and invalidity proceedings.
You can find out more about the specialist technical areas our Patent Attorney team operate in below: