Patent and IP Basics

How to do an FTO search


Simply put, freedom to operate (FTO) is a risk assessment to help businesses understand IP risk and evaluate competitors’ patents. In this course we join Juliana Melo LLM, IP expert at PatSnap. The course will guide us through the core concepts of freedom to operate: its definition, objectives of an FTO search and what insight and guidance an FTO analysis can offer. This is a beginner level course aimed at those looking for an introduction on how to do FTO searching. The course takes about 30 minutes to complete.

This unit has 0 Minutes of videos.

Unit Progress

  1. What is freedom to operate?
  2. What are the objectives of FTO analysis?
  3. What conclusions are drawn from FTO analysis?
  4. How to develop an FTO strategy
  5. Where to go for information
  6. Quiz


Module 1

What is freedom to operate?

Duration: 0 Minutes


To begin our familiarity with one the most frequent intellectual property operations, Juliana begins by discussing what it means to have 'Freedom To Operate'. Building on that understanding, we will then explore the reasoning behind a search, and when a search would be necessary.

Additional Resources
Module 1 - Transcript
Framework - Conducting an FTO search - Search Management record
How to Innovate without FTO
Module 2

What are the objectives of FTO analysis?

Duration: 0 Minutes


Now we understand the questions we'll be asking, we need to know what a search is capable of. What insight would a successful FTO search uncover? In this video, Juliana helps us to identify the objectives of FTO analysis, and how different types of search may dictate the sort of answers you'll be looking for.

Additional Resources
When Is a “Freedom to Operate” Opinion Cost-Effective?
Module 2 - Transcript
Module 3

What conclusions are drawn from FTO analysis?

Duration: 0 Minutes


As we continue on our journey towards bringing our innovations to life, it's almost inevitable that we reach a barrier. In our third video Juliana talks about what happens next. What conclusions can we draw from our search and, if you come across a blocking patent, what are your options?

Additional Resources
EBook: Top Tips for an Effective FTO Search
Module 3 - Transcript
Module 4

How to develop an FTO strategy

Duration: 0 Minutes


Before we build a search, we need some bricks. By understanding the components of an FTO analysis we can begin to execute a strategy. Video 4 of this series will equip you with exactly what you need to encompass in your search, from components of your strategy to the 5 steps of search management.

Additional Resources
FTO strategy: Implications and Best Practices
Case Study: Paving the way to success by building up an IP strategy for an academic start-up
Exercise: Developing an FTO strategy
Module 4 - Transcript
Module 5

Where to go for information

Duration: 0 Minutes


By now, you are fully equipped to execute an FTO analysis, and use the results to further develop your next big innovation. So where should you take your new skills, and where can you find more information? Our fifth and final video of this series will tell you, as Juliana shares her expertise and demonstrates some examples of performing an FTO search.

Additional Resources
Information and recommendations of sources from the USPTO
Module 5 - Transcript
Test Your Knowledge

When you are ready to complete this unit, take the quiz to see what you remember.

Take the Quiz