Freedom to Operate Search (FTO)

Freedom to operate

Before introducing your product to the market or to potential investors, you should know whether you do not infringe on the rights of someone else.

By freedom to operate search you:

  • assess the risks presented by the rights of competitors  (you obtain an overview of rights, which might pose a risk upon entering the market, as well as a statement from a patent specialist assessing the relevancy of the risk)
  • may modify your product in time or prepare for a suitable procedure (design around, obtaining a licence, verification of the legitimacy of the rights, modification of the solution, etc.)
  • prevent spending uncessary finances on completion of the conflicting product development and settlement with the owner of the conflicting rights

Owning a patent or a utility model does not mean that you do not infringe on your competitors’ rights.

The sooner you become aware of possible conflicts, the less finances you actually spend.


When do you benefit from the search?


During the development stage

to verify whether your product does not pose a risk of conflict with another patent owner, or eventually for a timely product modification.


Before introduction to the market

to prevent potential conflicts or obtain necessary licences.



When choosing suitable markets for expansion

You may find out on which markets your product might be sold and, on the other hand, which present a potential conflict with competitors’ rights.


What do you gain from the search?

  • Overview of relevant documents which could limit you in production or in obtaining potential investors (incl. claims defining the scope of protection, information about the owner, date of registration and grant, list of active terrotories, links to full version of relevant documents or their machine translation into English, etc.)
  • Patent specialist’s statement on the potential risks posed by the specific documents as well as on the scope of limitation
  • Suggestion for further action
  • Overview of search strategy

Thanks to the freedom to operate search you can make an informed decision about further steps when entering the market – modify your product or technical solution (design around), obtain a license or seek cancellation of a competing patent.

Searches can only be performed based on the already published documents. In the case of patents, publication typically takes place within 18 months after the application filing date. No search provides 100% certainty. However, we make our best to get as close to it as possible within the agreed time allowance.


You’re in the right place

Do you want to minimize the risk of a dispute in relation to your product?

How much does it cost?

The costs for the freedom to operate search depend on:

  • Complexity of the solution
  • Technical field
  • Territorial scope

Time required for the search depends on these criteria and the costs are charged by hour. We will agree on the time allowance (and therefore the price) in advance.

Usually, within the first 10 hours of searching in professional databases, we can identify basic risks on selected European markets.

If at any time during the search we discover a document that would represent a major turning point in the further process, we will immediately inform you and we will not continue with the search.

How does the collaboration work

We meet in person/online

At the initial consultation we discuss your needs and goals

You will fill out a questionnaire

in which you provide details about your product or technical solution

Cost estimate

Based on the provided information we estimate the time needed for conducting the search.

Proceeding with the search

We do not try to meet the maximum agreed time at all costs – we adapt to the number of found documents.

You will receive the results

We provide an overview of potentially conflicting rights along with the assessment of risks and suggestions for further action.

As patent attorneys, we are legally bound to confidentiality.
Your ideas, innovations and technological processes are safe with us.


Among the companies that trust us with the protection of their innovations are


Where to find us?

Wherever you need.

We are based in Brno, but we can also meet in Prague, Liberec or at your office.
+420 778 538 088


Koliště 1961/13a
602 00 Brno–Černá Pole
Mon-Fri 8-17

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Salvátorská 931, 110 00
Prague – Old Town
Opening hours by appointment

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U Jezu 525/4, 460 01
Opening hours by appointment

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Online or at your office

If you are interested, we will be happy to come to you or meet you online.

Schedule a meeting