Freedom to Operate opinions go hand-in-hand with patentability opinions to verify that a new patent a company intends to invest in does not infringe the rights of third parties relating to identical or similar assets already present on the market.

What does “Freedom to Operate” mean?

"Freedom to Operate" (FTO) is an analysis carried out in the market to identify any existing patents that may conflict with what you want to file.

This is why a “Freedom to Operate” search is a fundamental task to carry out before filing a patent, precisely to:

  • Ensure its feasibility;

  • Protect the company from the risk of economic damage;

  • Avoid having to withdraw a product from the market after it has already been marketed (having clearly already invested time and money).

In addition, it allows to:

  • Avoid legal disputes for the infringement of patent rights which damages third parties;

  • Focus a company's research and development on products or processes that are not yet protected by third-party patents.

Freedom to Operate opinions

Freedom to Operate opinions are formulated as a result of the patent search. They are provided in written form and include:

A risk assessment and the impact on the market where the patent is filed;

Indications on how to manage the procedure to reach a solution that can be shared by the different market players, protecting the company's future image.

Freedom to Operate research

In any case, in order to carry out Freedom to Operate research, the product or procedure under investigation must be described in detail.

In fact, it is also necessary to thoroughly examine the related claims in order to specify the useful technical elements and search criteria to identify valid patents that could interfere with the one to be filed.