Freedom to Operate (FTO) Opinions: Look Before You Leap

The Journal of BioLaw & Business
March 2009

Kimberly B. Herman wrote an article entitled "Freedom to Operate (FTO) Opinions: Look Before You Leap," which discusses how the protective seal of a patent might seem like a no-brainer, slam-dunk finish to a successful research and development process, but a better metaphor for filing a patent application might be that of diving into murky water: with an eye to what could be below, the prudent business knows how and where to jump, and furthermore considers whether jumping is even a good idea in the first place. So-called “freedom to operate opinions” let you know what’s beneath the surface.