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Freedom to operate search

If you intend to commercially exploit a product or a method, or to manufacture or import a product, you should make sure in advance that you are not infringing on anybody’s valid patent or utility model. By avoiding any infringement in advance you will save a lot of money and trouble.

A freedom to operate (FTO) search allows you to reduce the risk of infringement. The search should be carried out before you start manufacturing, selling, marketing or importing the product.

Outcome of the search

You can order a freedom to operate search on Finland, Europe and the USA. In Europe, the search focuses on the EPC countries – the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation. We conduct freedom to operate searches on other countries by agreement.

The aim of the freedom to operate search is to search for the following patents, utility models and applications which may harm your operations: patents and utility models valid in the target countries, and national applications, PCT applications and European patent applications regarding the target countries. We will provide you with information on publications and statuses found in the search, but we will not take a stand against a possible infringement – the publications found in the search will help you identify the risk of infringement.

How long does the search take?

Our delivery time is usually about 3 weeks. Holiday seasons may in some cases extend the examination time, as we tend to give the assignment to a patent examiner specialised in the required technical field.

In special cases, the delivery time may be shorter. We will ask the patent examiner specialised in the field if a quicker delivery is possible.


You are charged by the hour for our search services. Invoicing fee and the current VAT are added to the price. You can also order copies of the publications and documents found in the search, and a comment on their contents. Please note that we will not take a stand against a possible infringement in the comment.

You can set an upper limit for the number of hours or the amount of money to be spent on the search. However, two or three hours is seldom enough when you need reliable results. If there are a lot of patents in a particular technical field or if the subject of the search is complicated, the examiner needs to spend more time on the search than when examining simpler products.

Read more in our price list.

How to order

Send your order by mail or secure email.
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Instructions on secure email.

Before ordering, you can contact our consulting engineers to discuss the scope and contents of the search by sending an email to You can also contact the consulting engineers by calling our customer service on +358 29 509 5858.

Go to the order form:

Printable version Latest update 29.07.2022