What is a Freedom to Operate (FTO) Search?
A Freedom to operate (FTO) search enables a company/individual to analyze if his product/process is infringing on in-force patents/patent applications, belonging to a third party. The FTO search is jurisdiction specific, for example, if a company wants to release a product in India, the FTO search done will look for patents/patent applications in India. An 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.