FTO Patent Search: Everything You Need to Know
An FTO patent search is conducted to assess if there is a risk that a product is infringing on the patent of an already existing particular product.3 min read
An FTO patent search is conducted to assess if there is a risk that a product being designed or developed is infringing on the patent of an already existing particular product.
Things to Consider With an FTO Search
An FTO search provides an analysis that identifies and analyzes patents of other individuals or businesses that could result in your company being liable for patent infringement. A search is usually conducted prior to developing and/or launching a service or product in a specific part of the world and before finalizing a product's design or investing in a marketing strategy.
The information generally provided or an FTO search includes:
- A detailed description of the product or service. This would also include a list of the product's key features that require clearance.
- The geographical regions where you plan to launch and market your product and service that will require a clearance.
- A list of patents, competitors, and patent holders that may be relevant to the product or service you plan to launch.
Performing a Freedom to Operate (FTO) search before beginning development and launching a new product limits the risk factor of future litigation and avoids unnecessary expense. While it may be expensive to invest in a search, the results are worthwhile since they provide peace of mind as you continue your product's development.
If the development of your product is in the early stages where changes and modifications are likely, it is to your advantage to invest in an FTO search. In this way, any key patents that your product is infringing on can be worked around and redesigned to reduce infringement risks and avoid infringement claims. This increases the patentability of your product.