Freedom to Operate

FTO (freedom-to-operate) is the freedom to commercialize a product or process without infringing on others patent rights. Commercialization of infringing products may lead to expensive law suits. Hence, a FTO study is an essential task to be carried out before commercializing a product.


Different types of FTO’s
Product FTO:
Search should not be limited to the final product, processes and features which may lead to the same product need to be considered. The search focuses on the product both specifically and generically. Depending on subject, it might be necessary to breakdown the product into elements. Each element should be searched both specifically and generically, using various combinations.


Process FTO:
Breakdown process into appropriate steps and intermediary products. This may include isolating and searching each process step, where sequence is usually important. Each intermediate product and the final product have to be insolated and searched.


FTO Opinion
Based on the results of the FTO search, a FTO-opinion can be given by a qualified patent attorney. Patent Information Services provides this service in collaboration with Van den Berg IP.

More information?

Please contact Patent Information Services for more information.