A Freedom to Operate (FTO) search or clearance search helps in smooth-sailing of your business without unnecessary hiccups from potential cases of infringement.
FTO or clearance search helps you in deploying effective strategy to circumvent possible infringement risks that can hinder your commerce and ensures safe launch of your product, process or service.
An FTO or clearance search conducted early in the product development stage can save a lot of time and capital and can prepare you to build a feasible and secure commercial strategy. The search can further help you to commercialize your product or service with confidence if no enforceable IP right exists, else gives you options to either modify your product or service to work around the troubling IP, get into licensing agreement with the third-party IP holder or try to invalidate the obstructing IP.
The FTO search uncovers all active patents or pending published applications issued in a specific country or region of interest that claim the essential features of your product, process or service. Per request, the search may also be expanded to different jurisdiction or may also include pending PCT applications that may enter the national stage of the given country.
The scope of FTO or clearance search is based on the features of the given product, process or services and this is used to search for all relevant references claiming essentially the same feature directly or indirectly.
The FTO or clearance report disclose the potential references in a document with relevant text highlighted from claims, their legal status, bibliographic data and important class codes in which the product or service falls into.