Strafford FTO Opinions Webinar


Fish’s Stuart Nelson will speak on the panel “Structuring Freedom to Operate Opinions: Reducing Risk of Patent Infringement” on the Strafford Virtual CLE program on March 10.

Structuring Freedom to Operate Opinions: Reducing Risk of Patent Infringement
Thursday, March 10, 2022
1:00-2:30pm EST | 10:00-11:30am PST

Patent freedom to operate (FTO) searching and analysis is a common component in developing a product. Companies should work with counsel to determine if, when, and how to conduct an FTO analysis to reduce risk when developing and commercializing new products or services. The FTO process often includes developing legal opinions, which can be informal or formal, oral or written. Such opinions can be helpful to help guide business decisions. In some cases, FTO work can also be used to reduce infringement risks and exposure to potential damages awards. Written work product can include traditional formal written opinions and also increasingly includes work involving the post-grant process. The speakers will review these and other important issues:

  • What legal framework is used to assess a party’s intent for willfulness/enhanced damages and inducement of infringement, and what aspects are still unsettled?
  • What are best practices for patent counsel when analyzing FTO issues and structuring FTO opinions?
  • When should counsel seek FTO opinions to protect new research and products from infringement claims?
  • What is the impact of the post-grant process on FTO opinions?


  • Stuart Nelson, Principal, Fish & Richardson
  • Austen Zuege, IP Attorney, Westman, Champlin & Koehler, P.A.

To learn more, click here.