Patents are exclusionary rights and therefore only prevent others from practicing inventions. Patents do not grant a right to practice the invention. Therefore, prior to product launch it is prudent to arrange for a Freedom to Operate (FTO) report or a product clearance report. Wagenknecht's product clearance services include:
- Conducting a patent search to determine the patent landscape
- Preparing freedom to operate (FTO) reports to assess the differences between identified patents and the product
- Drafting non-infringement opinions when detailed analysis of claim scope is required
Freedom to Operate (FTO) Analysis
Freedom to Operate (FTO) analysis looks to whether practicing the invention would infringe the patent rights of another. FTO analysis can be performed on specific products or early on during product development to assess the overall patent landscape. Conducting FTO analysis early in the development process can not only help avoid infringement, but can also reduce costs associated with making changes before product launch and can suggest avenues for potential expansion.
In instances where the state of the art and the commercial product partially overlap, non-infringement opinions can be prepared explaining why the patent is not infringed. Non-infringement opinions interpret the scope of the patent and provide detailed reasoning why the product is outside of the scope of the patent. Non-infringement opinions can also be used as a defense against willful infringement and thus reduce liability in the event of litigation.