Patent Searches and Opinions

Patent searches and opinions help you gather information and inform your decision for your patent matters. Quality searches and reliable analysis matters.

Patent searches and patent opinions can be useful tools in assessing risks and identifying opportunities at all stages of the patent lifecycle.

There is a wide range of options for patent searches and opinions, each has its own particular use: (i) landscape searches during the R&D phase; (ii) patentability searches when assessing whether to file a patent application, (iii) clearance searches when bringing a new product to market, (iv) infringement searches and (v) validity searches when assessing litigation opportunities and risks.

RPL can assist you with any patent search you may find valuable.

Types of Searches and Opinions


Landscape searches help you identify the general state of the art in a given field and find white space into which to steer your innovation. A landscape search looks for the most relevant patents in a given field of technology to help assess the current state of the art. Landscape searches can be helpful at the very start of the innovation cycle.


Patentability searches and opinions help you identify whether your specific innovation is patentable over the prior art. Patentability searches and opinions can be helpful when deciding whether to file a patent application for your invention.

Clearance and Freedom to Operate

Clearance searches and freedom to operate (FTO) opinions help you identify whether your product infringes any existing patents. FTO opinions are helpful to anticipate litigation risks before launching a new product.


While the United States Patent and Trademark Office is the gatekeeper for issuing patents, not all issued patents are valid and enforceable. When it is important for you to know whether an issued patent is valid and enforceable, a validity search and opinion analyzes the issued patent in light of the prior art and the prosecution file history (the communications between the patent owner and the United States Patent and Trademark Office). A validity search can be useful in determining the strength of your patent before suing someone for infringement or in evaluating a patent that may be used against you in a patent infringement suit.


When faced with an accusation of infringing a competitor’s patent, you may want to learn as much as you can about the patent and how it relates to your product. Similarly, before sending your competitor a cease and desist letter for infringing your patent, careful analysis can be made to formulate your infringement claims. An infringement option may help you to make informed business decisions when dealing with infringement issues.

Please contact us if you would like more information about any of our patent search and opinion services.

What Our Clients Have to Say

Behind the Idea: Gramovox

Behind the Idea: Gramovox

Visionary entrepreneur Pavan Bapu tells the story of Chicago-based Gramovox® and bringing to market the innovative Bluetooth Gramophone and Floating Record®.

Behind the Idea: Everpurse

Behind the Idea: Everpurse

Liz and Dan Salcedo, founders of Everpurse®, share the story behind their ingenious invention — a purse that miraculously recharges an iPhone.

Dugan O'Keene

Product Design and Development, Oakley

"He gets the work, the project, the scope, and the commercial realities. He brings an invaluable perspective to our intellectual capital strategy and he is an pleasure to work with."

Mark Murray


"My experience working with RPL has changed the way that I view legal services entirely. Patrick and his team are truly remarkable."

Marci Rolnik

Legal Director, Lawyers for the Creative Arts

"Patrick Richards is a gifted attorney whom I recommend both on a professional and a personal basis. He has a unique understanding of complex technological processes and the ability to translate that information to clients in a way they can appreciate and understand."

Brad Lowe

Owner, Lowe Custom Guitars

"I have worked closely with Patrick on the research, development and implementation of several patent and trademark applications... I truly consider RPL to be a partner in my business."