Freedom to Operate, Infringement and Validity Studies
Patents are a tool to protect innovation by blocking competitors from the market. A “freedom to operate” audit determines the risk that a future innovation will be hindered by existing patents.
Our level of our involvement is determined in close-collaboration.
Preferably before commercializing a new product or process, we search for and identify any inconvenient patent rights. We then study these patent rights in detail, examine relevant patent office dossiers, search for damaging prior art, and advise how the risk of infringement can be eliminated or reduced. Options can then include challenging the validity of the right, negotiating with the patent holder, changing the design of the product or process and watching the patent activities of competitors.
We provide a variety of different searches and watch services, easily tailored to your needs by agreeing on the objectives and the scope before any work is done. These services include novelty searches, freedom-to-operate searches, validity searches, patent mapping, competitor analysis, and subject matter and case specific watches. In collaboration with our networks of foreign patent firms, the services can be extended to cover foreign countries. We can then study the results in detail, and provide advice, allowing an informed risk assessment to be made.
Unfortunately, you may only become aware of a competitor’s patent through a warning letter or a court action against your company. We will assess the strength of the infringement allegation by analyzing the patent right in detail and comparing it with the design details of the accused product or process.