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Patents and Strategic Inventing: The Corporate Inventor’s Guide to Creating Sustainable Competitive Advantage by Nicholas Nissing

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CHAPTER 3CLAIMS AND YOUR FREEDOM TO OPERATE

Another important topic—perhaps even more important than patentability—is determining whether or not you are able to practice your own invention—that is, whether you would have freedom to operate (FTO) with respect to this invention. FTO is the ability to do something without infringing on someone else’s patents.

Wait a minute … don’t patents grant the inventor the exclusive right to practice his invention? Nope. Patents grant the inventor the right to exclude others from practicing the invention. Specifically, you can exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing the invention as described in the claims of your granted patent. In other words, when your patent is granted, ...

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