Freedom to Operate / Clearance Search

Cardinal can provide a Freedom to Operate Search or Clearance Search to  identify patents and published applications that may pose an infringement risk to your product or service, as well as expired patents that may indicate that your product or service is in the public domain.

Depending on your needs, the search scope may be limited to U.S. patents and published applications or expanded to include foreign patent references. Expired patents and public domain evidence can also be considered and the status of each U.S. Patent is provided.

Search Strategy

  • Identification of Best Fit Classes
  • Keyword Searching
    • Classification-limited keyword searching
    • Keyword searching not limited by classifications


References Cited

  • U.S. Patents
  • Published U.S. Patent Applications
  • Safe Harbor References
    • Expired U.S. Applications
    • Abandoned U.S. Applications


Reference Status

  • Status as reported on front page of Public PAIR
    (for all U.S. references in report)


Delivery Methods

  • PDF version of report (via e-mail)
  • IP Dashboard Search Report System (web-based report interface)
    • PDF copies of each reference
    • Zipped bulk download of all references


Additional Add-On Services

  • Additional Jurisdictions
  • USPTO Maintenance Fee Payment Check
  • Estimate of Patent Expiration Date*
  • Additional Distinct Features**


Turnaround Time

  • 5-10 Business Days

*Cardinal uses a mathematical algorithm to determine an estimated patent expiration date.
This is for convenience only and is not a legal determination of the exact expiration date.
**Prices vary with extent and overlap with existing features.