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Clearance Search (aka Pre-launch clearance/Right to Use/Freedom to Operate /Justification /Right to Make)
This due diligence search provides a basis for an (non)infringement opinion by discovering any enforceable patents whose claims would preclude the use, manufacture, or sale of the reference product, service, or process.
Clearance Search (also Pre-launch clearance/Right to Use/Freedom to Operate /Justification/Right to Make)
We normally perform a clearance search just prior to ramping up a product’s production and/or distribution. The goal is to avoid risking infringement upon product launch. As the time increases between the patentability search and product launch, a clearance search becomes more important because significant patents may have issued in the intervening time. If not done, you could receive an infringement based “cease and desist” letter against your new product or service. Thus, a patent clearance search focuses on prior-art’s claim scope and not the degree of similarity as in a patentability search.
In addition to finding enforceable patents, we can search for expired patents that may serve as a “safe harbor” exception for your process, product, or service. Thus, a full clearance search consists of both an infringement and patentability search.
This search is an important way for your organization to assess the competitive landscape that exists in your technology area, thereby providing critical decision point information to drive strategic planning and resource allocation. Our search establishes current methods in the public domain that achieve a similar outcome as your reference technology.
This specialized search provides an “evolutionary picture” of how a reference technology has progressed over a certain range of time. Unlike a state-of-the-art search, collection searches can cover both expired and unexpired patent references. At an additional cost, we provide summary comments that “glue” the references together.
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