Infringement & Freedom to Operate
Infringement & FTO Searches
PERQUISITUM PATENT SEARCH SERVICES
Infringement searches and Freedom To Operate (FTO) searches are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they may have subtly different definitions. They are both intended to identify intellectual property rights that might act as a barrier to the manufacture and marketing of your product in jurisdictions of interest.
Infringement searches are aimed at locating patents and patent applications that are in force or potentially in force, and have claims that may describe at least one aspect of your product, its use or its method of manufacture. Often, this is also the search people have in mind when requesting an FTO search.
However, true FTO searches may extend to intellectual property rights other than patents. See, for example, Design Searches. You may also consider that freedom to operate may be conferred by the presence of prior art that was published prior to the infringement period and describes your product/process. If this is the case, a form of validity search may be more appropriate.
Our experience and expert knowledge enables us to devise search strategies which anticipate how your product may have been described by a patentee and how this scope may have been indexed in the relevant databases. These strategies can be tailored to meet your specific requirements, optimising precision and retrieval, and balancing your budget with an acceptable level of risk.
These could be quite focused searches requested at an early stage in the development of a product and aimed at identifying the most pertinent art. Or they could be more exhaustive investigations carried out as part of a licensing due diligence investigation or when a product is about to be marketed.
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“Our experience and expert knowledge enables us to devise search strategies which anticipate how your product may have been described by a patentee and how this scope may have been indexed in the relevant databases”
When filing a Registered Design application, it is important to know whether it is novel and has individual character. Alternatively, you may be considering the use of an item or design that could infringe existing rights.
Whether you are interested in individuals or large companies, the available resources have specific nuances that affect the retrieval of a target’s patent portfolio. Perquisitum can take advantage of these to uncover the references you need to see in your name search.