Patent Search

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.

Freedom to Operate Search Strategy

Introduction

An FTO Search and Analysis plays a vital role in Patent Infringement Risk Assessment, Alleviation of Investor/Shareholder worries, and Protection of Patent from intentional Invalidity Proceedings. PatSeer allows you to conduct an FTO Search by yourself. The article How to Create A Freedom to Operate Search Strategy sheds light on leveraging PatSeer’s Global Patent Database for your FTO Searching and Analysis.

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

Restrictions

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.

Also, FTO is geography specific and thus specific jurisdiction restriction is applied on the search strings. For the purpose of this study the jurisdiction of our search would be GB i.e. Great Britain, for which patents of GB and EP shall be considered relevant for the study

Identifying Patent Classifications

To identify the relevant Patent Classifications, the same approach as mentioned in article Infringement Analysis / Clearance Search is taken, and the following IPC were identified Following IPC were identified:

Relevant IPC Codes Identified
S.No IPC Classification Details
1 C07K 14/745 Blood coagulation or fibrinolysis factors
2 C07K 14/75 Fibrinogen
3 C12M 3/00 Tissue, human, animal or plant cell, or virus culture apparatus

Since EP and GB patent documents shall not be classified by the USPTO the search will not involve US Classification

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

The Search Strings highlighted in Bold font are the ones which are finally used for obtaining an analysis set.

S.No Search Strings
1 TA:((artificial* OR synthetic* OR invitro OR “in vitro” OR biomaterial* OR “bio material”) w2 (tissue or tissues
OR organ)) OR ((tissue OR organ) w5 (synthe* OR engineer* OR cultur* or scaffold*))
AND
PRD:[1988-01-01 TO 2013-12-31]AND
PBC:(EP OR GB)
2 TACD: ((artificial* OR synthetic* OR invitro OR “in vitro” OR biomaterial* OR “bio material”) w2 (tissue OR
organ)) OR ((tissue OR organ) w5 (synthe* OR engineer* OR cultur* or scaffold*))
AND
PRD:[1988-01-01 TO 2013-12-31]AND
PBC:(EP OR GB)
3 TA: (fibrinogen* OR (factor w2 (I or 1)) OR (plasma w2 glycoprotein*))
AND
PRD:[1988-01-01 TO 2013-12-31]AND
PBC:(EP OR GB)
4 TACD: (fibrinogen* OR (factor w2 (I or 1)) OR (plasma w2 glycoprotein*))
AND
PRD:[1988-01-01 TO 2013-12-31]AND
PBC:(EP OR GB)

5 (SS1 AND SS4) OR (SS2 AND SS3) OR (SS1 AND SS3)
6 TACD: (fibrinoly*^4 OR “t PA” OR tPA OR rtPA OR PLAT OR (serine w2 protease*) OR (“tissue
plasminogen” w4 activation) OR urokinase OR (“uro kinase”) OR abbokinase)
AND
PRD:[1988-01-01 TO 2013-12-31]AND
PBC:(EP OR GB)

7 TACD: (((coagulat* OR clot* OR haemostatic OR hemostatic) w4 (factor* OR protein* OR glycoprotein* OR peptide* OR initiator)) OR (Factor wd2 (I OR II OR III OR IV OR V OR VI OR VII OR VIII OR IX OR X OR XI OR XII OR XIII)) OR prothrombin OR proaccelerin OR proconvertin OR (pro wd (thrombin OR accelerin OR convertin)) OR ((Antihemophilic OR (anti hemophilic)) w4 (factor* OR globulin)) OR (christmas w4 factor) OR (“Stuart Prower factor”) OR (plasma w2 thromboplastin) OR (Hageman w4 factor) OR (fibrin w2 stabili*) OR Hemofil OR cothromboplastin OR thrombokinase OR thromboplastin OR Thrombin )
AND
PRD:[1988-01-01 TO 2013-12-31]AND
PBC:(EP OR GB)

8 TACD: (polysaccharide OR polysacharide O R monosaccharide OR monosacharide O R saccharide OR
sacharide)
AND
PRD:[1988-01-01TO 2013-12-31]AND
PBC:(EP OR GB)
9 SS9 AND SS8 AND SS7 AND SS4 AND SS2
10 SS10 AND TAC: (tissue or tissues or organ or organs)
11 IC: (C07K14/745 AND C07K14/75 AND C12M3/00)
12 (IC: C12M3/00) AND (SS4 AND SS7 AND SS8 AND SS9) OR
(IC: C07K14/75) AND (SS2 AND SS7 AND SS8 AND SS9) OR
(IC: C07K14/745) AND (SS2 AND SS4 AND SS9)

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