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Why is Freedom-to-operate Search Important?

It is not easy for an invention to get patent approval and act as a full-fledged patent, hold rights and act independently. It’s important to conduct a freedom-to-operate search for your invention so that you get to know that you will be able to use the invention freely without any problem arising in the future. This search is important to ascertain any other infringement when active patents are not infringed, there might be any other reason that will oppose you from using your patent freely.

Also read: Patent Watch: Needs and Advantages

Importance of Freedom-to-Operate Search

FTO search offers a lot of advantages that can’t be ignored for the purpose of maximum utilization of the patent. We will read some of the points that can be considered important for conducting the FTO search:

  • FTO search is conducted in a wider location, considering different geographical locations. It doesn’t consider only one particular country, but the search is conducted in multiple countries where there is a chance of infringement. The inventor can easily understand the countries he can have access to, and in which can’t deal and use his invention’s patent. The clear understanding of the locations where can do business using his patent will help him save unnecessary costs on patenting in those countries. He can also understand how he can make use of invention and monetize the patent for the best use of it.
  • Freedom-to-operate search is important to identify the patents which were once issued but are not in the use anymore. These are the Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), which are not in the use, maybe, because these entities don’t exist anymore. It is important to ascertain which entities are working in the same field and which are not.
  • Changes take place too frequently in technology field and if your invention is in the same field, it becomes very important to thoroughly search that your invention will have the freedom-to-operate in the field where there might be similar invention already operating. Many companies in this field try to protect their operations through freedom-to-operate search.
  • Companies, through freedom-to-operate search make sure that they will be able to operate, commercialize, market, and deal their invention in the market. It is important for the inventor to ensure that your invention will not infringe any other invention while operating in the market.
  • The inventors can know if similar inventions are operating and they can’t make their patent fully functional and operational, they can then decide to coordinate with such companies, making lease or license according to their preference and choice.
  • Through FTO search, the inventor can understand all the functional and legal aspects of their invention and can use it at the best within the boundaries of their operations. These patents can help the organizations to grow and make more improvements in their working and operations.

Thus, freedom-to-operate search serves the purpose of making constant improvements in the field of their invention without getting caught up in any legal trouble. There can be late discoveries about the invention being non-operational due to any infringement activities that were taking place.

Also read: Patent Services: Need in Patent Application


Getting a patent for your invention is a time-consuming and expensive process, the inventor puts in a lot of efforts to get the approval. The patent must be in the best of its position to be fully functional and have the freedom-to-operate. Although, there might not be full guarantee that the infringement will not take place in future, FTO analysis will be able to calculate an extent at which the infringement might take place and also chances that there might be infringement for the patent.

Thus, FTO search plays a crucial part in deciding the life of a patent. There might be something that will would have remained undiscovered without the FTO search.

Also read: Office Action and its Types

Professional services

PatSketch provides various patent and trademark-related services. You will require professionals at every step of the patent process for getting a quality patent for your invention. The patent examiner should understand the invention in the best possible way so that there is no scope of office action or rejection and this is possible only when you have a presentable patent application.

Know more about our services by visiting our website or contact us to hire your patent services now.

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