Freedom to Operate (F.T.O) Search
Freedom-to-Operate (FTO) searches are used to investigate the risks of potential patent infringement before launching a new product. F.T.O is also termed as “Clearance Search” or “Right to Use Search”. Freedom to operate search is indispensable to ensure that invented product or proposed technology do not infringe on claims of an in-force patent in order to avoid complex litigation.
Freedom to Operate Search is an extension of Patent infringement Search where we focus only in-force patents. But in FTO search, the expired patents and publicly available documents also considered in addition to in-force patents, to prove the non-infringement of the target product against any in-force patents. The search covers patent and any publicly available documents searched globally.