Freedom to Operate BootCamp:
A Comprehensive Tactical Guide to Mastering the FTO Search

Nov 2020

Keisha Hylton-Rodic
Hylton-Rodic Law PLLC (Washington, DC)

Olga Kay
Senior Patent Counsel
Roche (San Francisco, CA)

Freedom to operate (FTO) is a risk assessment that is a vital to helping businesses understand IP risk, evaluate competitor’s patents, identify third-party rights and assess the likelihood of infringement. There are various ways that companies can conduct FTO searches, and the method chosen often depends on the stage of the product development. This comprehensive masterclass will explore the complexities in the FTO analysis and provide tips and techniques to avoid unexpected traps. Points of discussion will include

  • Protecting the rights on future developments and preserving the freedom to operate
  • Analyzing filings and determining the strength of claims of infringement
  • Evaluating factors to consider when assessing risk of suit
  • Using non-patent resources to assess risk
  • Assessing the Impact of domestic vs. foreign manufacture of the commercial product on risk assessment
  • Exploring sources beyond patent databases: best practices for conducting effective landscape searches
  • Balancing the threats of blocking patents: potential infringement vs. potential injunction
  • Benchmarking with competitors: monitoring their activities while weighing the risks of your projects
  • Developing strategies for working the FTO results into the direction of the business