Clearance or FTO Searching

Clearance, Infringement, Right to Use, Freedom to Operate, Right to Manufacture
Whichever name you use, the focus of a clearance search is to identify references that may present a threat of infringement. Our searchers are specially-trained first filters for attorneys, saving you valuable time by reviewing thousands of references to identify the most relevant patents and published applications. In a US clearance search we provide you with between 3 and 300 references (determined by the breadth of the subject matter being cleared) containing potentially infringed claims.

Many firms limit clearance searches to only unexpired patents, but DeMarcoIP prefers to expand these searches to include the expired patent art. This allows us to provide a greater understanding of not just what is claimed, but why it is claimed. By reviewing the expired art, we are able to determine what material has passed into the public domain and help provide you with the information you need to determine your client’s freedom to operate or manufacture. Additionally, expired art quite often provides references that could invalidate or narrow the claims of the more recent art with potentially infringed claims, so you can more clearly determine what has passed into the public domain.
  • “One of the great joys of life is creativity. Information goes in, gets shuffled about, and comes out in new and interesting ways.”

    —Peter McWilliams