Structuring Freedom to Operate Opinions: Reducing Risk of Patent Infringement

Combating Troubling FTO Results, Overcoming Potential Roadblocks, Addressing Impact of Post-Grant Process on FTO Opinions

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, October 3, 2019

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will guide patent counsel preparing freedom to operate (FTO) opinions for companies developing new products. The panel will outline best practices for drafting FTO opinions to reduce infringement risks.


FTO searching and analysis is a critical component in the development of a product. Counsel must prepare product inventors to document information for sound decisions regarding whether they have the FTO in a particular patent area.

The Supreme Court underscored the importance of FTO opinions in its decision in Commil USA v. Cisco Sys. Companies should work with counsel to develop an FTO opinion before proceeding with research, development, and commercialization of a product to minimize the risk of infringing another's IP rights.

Patent counsel should establish and implement FTO search and analysis strategies to uncover enforceable patents that may prove to be a roadblock for the development and marketing of a product. Further, counsel should anticipate and prepare to respond to post-grant validity challenges and their potential impact on FTO analysis.

Listen as our authoritative panel of patent attorneys discusses best practices when drafting FTO opinions for companies planning to develop new products. The panel will discuss the impact of post-grant challenges and strategies for employing FTO opinions.



  1. Drafting FTO opinions
    1. Problem results
    2. Roadblocks
    3. Privilege and confidentiality
    4. Alternative resolutions
  2. Impact of the post-grant process on FTO opinions
  3. Strategies for employing FTO opinions


The panel will review these and other crucial issues:

  • What are best practices for patent counsel when analyzing FTO issues and structuring FTO opinions?
  • What is the impact of the post-grant process on FTO opinions?
  • When should counsel seek FTO opinions to protect new research and products from infringement claims?


Cuviello, Michael
Michael S. Cuviello

Banner & Witcoff

Mr. Cuviello concentrates in patent counseling and the preparation and prosecution of patent applications. He assists a...  |  Read More

Fleming, John
John M. Fleming

Banner & Witcoff

Mr. Fleming concentrates on preparing and prosecuting utility and design patent applications in a variety of technical...  |  Read More

Zuege, Austen
Austen Zuege

Intellectual Property Attorney
Westman Champlin & Koehler

Mr. Zuege focuses his practice on intellectual property law in both transactional and litigation settings, including...  |  Read More

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