De-risk Innovation: Understanding Freedom to Operate (FTO)

De-risk Innovation: Understanding Freedom to Operate (FTO)

Join us for a presentation of the theory and best practice, followed by a hands-on analysis of case studies, with Emmanuel Jelsch, Senior European and Swiss Patent Attorney at AWA.

When: The 11th of September, from 16:00 to 18:00

Where: KNOVA, EPFL Innovation Park Building J, 2nd Floor.

Freedom to Operate (FTO) ensures that commercial activities do not infringe on third-party IP rights, particularly patents, but also trademarks and designs. It will determine where you can innovate and open new markets. Neglecting FTO can jeopardize a company’s commercial plans and financial stability. This analysis is crucial in innovation and business strategy.

Benefits of FTO: 

For Companies and Patent Holders: 

  • Risk Mitigation: Identify and address potential conflicts with existing patents. 
  • Strategic Decision-Making: Informed decisions on licensing, enforcement, or patent modifications. 
  • Market Positioning: Position technology more effectively in the market. 

For Start-ups and Investors: 

  • Due Diligence: Evaluate legal risks associated with a company’s products during investment assessments. 
  • Valuation: A strong FTO position enhances company valuation. 
  • Exit Strategy: Clean FTO results attract potential buyers and support exit strategies like acquisitions or IPOs. 

In summary, FTO studies provide legal clarity, reduce risks, guidance on business strategy and innovation pathways.

Registration deadline: 4th of September.

SDSC-Silvia Quarteroni

Emmanuel Jelsch

Emmanuel Jelsch holds a Master’s degree in bio-chemistry and a diploma in organic chemistry and plant physiology from the University of Strasbourg. With an engineering degree in pharmacology from the EPHE (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, University of Paris) he worked as a research engineer in the Glaxo Laboratories (GSK) France.

Having graduated from CEIPI in 1996, he acquired an extensive professional experience in pharmaceutical and healthcare companies as a patent agent in charge of the patent departments with the Debio Group, Lausanne, and Bracco SA, Geneva/Princeton. After having worked within the industry, Emmanuel went to the private practice in 2002, becoming associate and partner with a middle size IP law firm in Geneva having particular focus in Eastern Europe, Eurasia and Asia.

European Patent Attorney since 2003, he graduated in 2007 from CEIPI/EPI in European Patent litigation. Member of AIPPI and LES as well as regular observer at APAA (Asian Patent Attorney association), Emmanuel Jelsch specializes in chemistry and biotech inventions and has a good knowledge of the field of diagnostics. Since 2005, appointed as a WIPO and EU expert for the Patent Agent Training course in developing countries as well as tutor at the WIPO Academy for the WIPO distance learning Patent Drafting course. From 2011-2017 Emmanuel was part time Technical Judge at the Swiss Federal Patent Court, and continues to be IP coach for CTI Start-up now Innosuisse, honorary Professor at the University of Sfax (Tunisia), official trainer for the CAPI training course at OMPIC (Morocco) since 2015 and former Professor at the EPFL for the master in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

Finally, in May 2021, Emmanuel joined the major IP law firm, AWA, as a partner and is responsible for the development of the activity of the AWA group in Switzerland.