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Freedom to Operate Study

“Freedom to Operate” or “FTO” (sometimes it is called Freedom to Practice or Clearance Search) is the ability to research, develop, and commercialize a product without infringing on someone else’s rights. It is the process of determining whether or not a product can be made, used, offered for sale, or sold without infringing another’s valid, enforceable patent. Although the FTO process is usually considered before launching a new product or manufacturing process, it also applies to non-commercial activities, such as research and development, because even non-commercial activities can lead to liability for patent infringement.

FTO analyses are conducted for a variety of reasons and by different parties. FTO analyses often occur prior to an investment in the Company. In this case, counsel for the investor may require an FTO analysis prior to closing the deal.

  1. Identify potential patent barriers to the commercialization of products or technologies.
  2. Ability to support the clearance of products, technologies, or processes – Patent owner can exclude you from making, using, selling, offering for sell, or importing her patented invention or product of patented method
  3. Strategic risk management decisions in relation to R & D and Product launch
  4. Direction of Research and development planning
  5. Recognizing potential partners
  6. Obtain funding or investments

So Freedom to Operate study is to avoid being attacked for infringement by one or more competitors and to identify the necessary licenses. FTO study can be used in “research tree decisions,” in which several potential research paths are technologically feasible. Generally, picking the path with the least third-party IP is desirable so as to avoid potential litigation or licensing royalties.

Our Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) includes the development of a thorough understanding of the client's specified search feature, establishment of pertinent classifications to be searched and definition of Freedom to Operate search strategy using the best available databases of patent and/or non-patent literature. This is followed by a comprehensive search and development of a report of findings which undergoes final review and quality assurance before the submission to the client.

For case study, please contact us at



The term "Cornish pasty" has been given protected status by the European Commission. Pasties made only in Cornwall from an established traditional recipe can now be called "Cornish pasties", according to the Cornish Pasty Association (CPA).

Authentic Cornish pasties will now be marked with a special logo because of the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) tag ............


The Indian government in its effort to bring transparency and efficiency in the filing of patents, has proposed to amend the Patent Rules and make e-filing of applications compulsory. The e-filing of patent & trademark applications was launched on July 21, 2007.

The commerce ministry's Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has prepared a draft proposal and asked sought suggestions from stakeholders to amend.


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The multinational company had filed a petition seeking directions to Joy Creators to not use its trade mark 'Olay Total Effects' or any other deceivingly similar mark and questioned their unfair intentions to benefit from an established brand.............more