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Freedom to operate searches

You have an idea for a new product, and you are considering to start developing and marketing. Perhaps you intend to file a patent application, but in any case you want to make sure that commercial exploitation of your product will will not be barred by third party patent rights; Otherwise you might be severely impeded or even stopped in commercializing your product.


The associated patent search is called a freedom to operate search (also known as an FTO search or clearance search). All features of your product that are possibly patentable will be taken into account. If relevant publications (granted patents or patent applications) are found that describe (one or more features of) your product, you will have to think carefully about how to continue. Some options are:

Finding a design-around solution

Obtaining a license


Improving upon competitor's product and apply for a (dependent) patent


Stopping the project concerned

Please feel free to contact us for more information:

NPS Patent Searches

Professional patent search services

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