In the Freedom to Operate or Clearance Search, our goal is to first identify in-force patents that may pose an infringement risk to your product. We extend into expired patents and abandoned and pending applications to help you locate any public domain clearance.
FTO Search Process
We break the search into several phases, as follows:
- Novelty Search In the initial phase, we use the same approach used in a novelty search, in that we will look for references (current and expired) that appear similar to the product. The novelty search is conducted in US patents and published applications and WIPO, JPO, EPO, and DERWENT databases. This first search is broad without focus on claims, and is conducted by a first patent searcher.
- Infringement Search We then conduct an infringement search of enforceable US patents and published applications. In this phase, we focus on the list of features in the product and how these compare to the claims of the references. We search each feature independently.
- Assignment & Inventor Search We finish by searching assignments of any competitors listed by the customer, both in the assignment field and in assignment recordations at the USPTO. In addition, we search for any inventors provided by the customer that are prolific in the field.
A-List level is element tagged to show the relevancy to features, current status of the reference, and whether or not the reference was assigned to or by one of the entities listed by the customer. Each reference will have a hyperlink to a PDF of the full document. We also show the search strategy, including features, keywords and classifications used.
Please note, the pricing is lower if the customer narrows the scope of the search, for example, if there are specific assignees.