FTO Opinions

Harness Dickey offers a century of experience in performing Freedom to Operate (FTO) analysis, ensuring that your new product launches are handled smartly. Since our inception nearly a century ago, we have been helping our clients make intelligent decisions about potential infringement issues that exist every time a new product or technology is brought to market. After the idea for a new product or technology is conceived, the cost to develop products and bring those products to market is almost always sizable, and can sometimes reach seven figures or more.

With this kind of investment at risk, it is essential to thoroughly analyze the potential for infringement issues at the front end. This is proactive lawyering at its finest. If problems are identified early, a number of viable options may be available. For example, you may decide to:

  • Focus on redesign efforts that eliminate or substantially reduce your risk of infringement
  • Test and possibly challenge the integrity of the patent and other IP rights identified as potential obstacles
  • Approach the owner of the patent in order to obtain a license or purchase the patent before getting too far down the track with your development effort, well prior to the time when the patent owner realizes your vulnerability and can exploit that in negotiations
  • Assess the risks before committing the capital investment

We are committed to avoiding conflict and to helping our clients to stay out of court. We are not solely focused on theoretical legal distinctions, but rather on rendering useful and functional advice that minimizes costs. We see the big picture and focus on maximizing the investment of our client, sometimes working with them to change their design to further avoid a future problem with its associated costs and risk. We are your long term partner and therefore consider your long term objectives and goals. We are not going to say yes because it is easier.

We are consistently able to match the technological backgrounds of our patent lawyers that are relevant to your company. Our lawyers prosecute patents, litigate and handle Patent Office Inter Partes Reviews – thus we consider FTO projects from many different and practical viewpoints. We also focus on providing a final opinion that is well organized, concise and easy to read and understand to facilitate your business decision, rather than a report mired in legalese and hedging.

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