How to create a Freedom to Operate Search Strategy

How to create a Freedom to Operate Search Strategy

Freedom to Operate Search is also known as Infringement Analysis or Clearance Search. The purpose of an FTO search and analysis is to assess the risk of patent infringement associated with a particular invention.

Creating a Freedom to Operate Search Strategy

let us understand the search strategy preparation for a Freedom to Operate (FTO) study in the field of Biotechnology, where the focus area of the search need not be a specific invention but a broad-based invention area which may extend to several inventions.

Understanding the Invention

The invention area involves an artificial tissue obtainable by the following method of preparation:

  • To add a composition containing fibrinogen to isolated cells.
  • To add a fibrinolytic agent to the product resulting from the previous step
  • To add at least one coagulation factor, a source of calcium, thrombin, or any combination thereof to the resulting product of the second step
  • To add a polysaccharide composition to the resulting product of the third step
  • To grow isolated cells in or on the resulting product


Freedom to Operate, typically involves a date restriction to restrict the set of results to last 25 years since only live and enforceable patent documents are to be considered as potentially relevant to the scope of an FTO. Thus, considering patent terms timelines and factoring in patent term extensions, only patent documents with filing date/priority date extending back to 25 years are searched for an FTO.

Developing the Freedom to Operate Search Strategy

For this example, an alternative approach to searching is considered where each of the concepts are initially run in different search fields to create individual concept-based search strings. These search strings are then combined iteratively with each other and Patent Classifications to narrow down the result set. Relevant Date and Jurisdiction restrictions are extended to the searches

To know more about the Freedom to Operate Search visit – How to create a Freedom to Operate Search Strategy