Are you wondering what should be the appropriate FTO search cost or are you spending more than necessary on your FTO searches?
Know it all about FTO search cost here in this article.
Freedom to operate or FTO search, in layman’s terms, can be described as the search of active or already granted patents. It enables you to know in advance if any patents are covering or are similar to your ideas or invention. It, thus, assures that your invention or idea does not infringe any existing patent.
FTO search helps you to develop a design-around or customize your invention or process early in the development process of the invention. Moreover, it underscores the scope of getting your existing technology patented as well.
And hence, timely done FTO search avoids unnecessary costs and waste of resources. It also makes sure to lessen the chances of high-priced and time-consuming future litigation.
Figure 1: Freedom to Operate Search Process
FTO search cost breakup: What all to spend on?
FTO search, by and large, has a cost domain beginning from a few thousand dollars and going all the way up to US$50,000 or more. The most common cost range is from US$10,000 to US$20,000.
FTO searches are very complex demanding intense labour and a good amount of time, especially when these searches cover multiple countries or jurisdictions. And so with time and effort they need the expertise & experience of IP professionals such as patent attorneys.
Sometimes, FTO searches including the exploration of pending patent applications are also conducted which causes you to spend an extra amount of money.
The breakup of ‘FTO search cost’ includes the following elements:
FTO Search Analysis
An FTO search analysis is the second step in the search process. It involves the analysis of the search results. The main purpose of this analysis is to analyse the results to determine whether or not your invention or idea falls within the scope of the patent claims.
This analysis is one stage where you need well skilled and experienced patent professionals (such as patent attorneys). And so automatically becomes a point where you pay up the check for your search process.
FTO Search Opinion
The second element in the division of FTO search cost includes the FTO search opinion.
An FTO search opinion is a written document stating the legal opinion of a patent attorney about any infringement of your invention upon other patents. It is more of a requirement than a choice.
FTO Search Report
It consist of all i.e. FTO search results, analysis, and opinion. This report, when made by skilled IP attorneys and in time, proves out to be a valuable asset for you as it can provide ample time to plan an alternative solution or modifications to the existing ones.
The overall FTO search cost may appear to be high however NOT conducting an FTO search in time may even cost you higher in the long run. Because ultimately you need to have ‘freedom to operate’ your invention in the market and earn money from it.
Also read: FTO Search Made Easy
Choose the Best in the Market
The Patent Search Firm, with 10+ years of experience in the business, has 350+ full-time searchers who cover over 30 tech-domains and perform more than 100 FTO searches on an average in a month. The search covers 16+ languages covering 100+ countries. It provides you with comprehensive search results with expert’s comments on all the search reports. The Patent Search Firm even customizes and iterates the results until your satisfaction.