September 9, 2011

FTO (Freedom to operate) Search

A FTO (Freedom to operate) search is a search done in order to ensure that the claims of a particular Product/process of a particular company/Individual/organization [Here in refer as Party] is not encroaching upon the claims by the patent of third party. This search enables the Party to analyze if his product/process is infringing on in-force patents/patent applications, belonging to a third party. And secondly, FTO is Jurisdiction or territorial specific. As in If a particular party wants to release a product in India, where in party posses the patent on its product/process, FTO search with the relevant technology/product will give a information about the patent/applications already made in India, for specific matter/technology. A FTO Search is a search among the claims of in-force patents/patent applications for specific elements/steps of a product/process. A comparison is done between elements/steps of a product/process and individual claims of identified in-force patents/patent applications to determine the freedom to operate.  Claims are the most important part of a patent, where the domain/scope of the patent is determined. It is very pertinent that it is not an easy job to determine the scope of a patent. Studying and analysing the scope of a patent requires skills and experience in interpreting the claims. 

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