Are you sure your activities DO NOT infringe someone else's Intellectual Property?
Freedom To Operate (FTO) is an analysis, conducted for a specific region or country, which provides information on whether a company in commercializing a specific product/service infringes third party's Intellectual Property (existing patent, trademark, design, geographical indication etc.) or not. Normally, IP rights have specific differences within individual country's jurristiction, which FTO should identify. FTO analysis represents one of the options for minimizing the risk of product/service failure, however even if Freedom to Operate is found for a specific product/service (in a specific territory and on specific date), it does not mean that it will remain so nor that it is 100% accurate.
A comprehensive FTO should adress the following:
- Provide information on what type of IP might be infringed and where (in which country and/or region)
- Who is the owner of the IP that is being infrindged
- Indicate measures that should be taken in order to avoid infrindgement/to achieve Freedom to Operate
- Provide possible legal consequences if there is no FTO
- in case of patents provide relevant data regarding remaining durration, claims, area, fees paid or not, etc.
So, are you absolutely sure your organisation does NOT violate third-party's Intellectual Property?