It is critical to learn about the IP rights of others before starting work on a new product. Even if you own the intellectual property rights to a product, that doesn’t give you permission to make or sell it. Companies should perform “Freedom to Operate” (FTO) studies to ensure they will not run into any infringement difficulties. This type of research is looking for applicable third-party patents and design rights that could be an impediment to business operations.
Studying FTOs, and Why?
Avoiding FTO studies can cost you in terms of lost revenue, damaged reputation, and lawsuits from disgruntled customers. FTO analyses reduce danger and aid in strategy development.
Methods for Finding and Analyzing FTOs
As soon as the appropriate product is designed and the business goal is established, FTO work should begin. Take into account the expiration of IP rights and the jurisdictions in which you intend to operate.
In tight situations, free databases could work, but for a thorough search, it’s best to hire experts. Attorneys evaluate the risks and prioritize the appropriate IP rights.
Managing the Outcomes
- If a company discovers that it infringes on the IP rights of a third party, it can take one of four actions:
- Put aside the legalities: A risky move with the potential for high costs due to infringement.
- Negotiate a license or ownership to lessen the likelihood of future infringement.
- Avoid infringing on existing IP rights and safeguard your own by shifting your designs to work around them.
- Contest the rights: File a lawsuit to overturn a patent or trademark registration.
In conclusion, FTO studies are an essential part of the product development process that helps keep things out of court and makes sure the road to market is as smooth as possible. Patentskart (https://patentskart.com/) offers patent research services and intellectual property support to help you protect your business.