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A properly executed freedom to operate search and opinion (FTO) can be critical for any company with something to lose.

You are not legally required to perform an FTO search or obtain freedom to operate opinions, but doing so will preemptively protect you against infringement claims in the future. Not to mention, startups can use the FTO to reassure potential investors against future infringement claims.

Our personalized approach and legal counseling ensure that the task is done right.

The FTO Search

The FTO search uncovers any relevant patents or published patent applications. We recommend the FTO search as soon as possible, ideally before incurring significant production expenses. You want to ensure the product can be modified to avoid liability, especially if licensing is an option. Licensing after production has already begun is not an ideal situation.

Infringement Opinion

The infringement opinion evaluates whether your product infringes on one or more identified patents. The formal freedom to operate opinion mitigates treble damages, focusing on problematic patent applications in which a prima facie argument of infringement can be made. The company's value may influence the range of uncovered patents included.

Invalidity Opinion

The invalidity opinion evaluates the validity of a potentially problematic patent (i.e., one in which your product may reasonably infringe). An attorney can determine if the patent’s claims are not novel or are obvious. Obtaining a non-infringement opinion may be the first and safest step, but identifying legitimate reasons for patent invalidity can also be useful.

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