Protecting Psychedelic Science
& Medical Development
for Public Benefit


Freedom to Operate is a non-profit seeking to advance science and education, specifically research, in the public interest and for the public benefit.


If you share FTO’s values, we encourage you to donate to help fund our mission for the benefit of all.





Patents that attempt to appropriate pre-existing knowledge from the public commons then sell it back as a novel invention is a misuse of the patent system.


  • Fighting bad patents is important public policy.
  • Mistakenly issued patents can prevent research and innovation by other organizations.
  • Inappropriate patent rights create excess burden or loss of economic efficiency.

We know that there can be no patents on Psilocybin or LSD as substances,
nor on the known methods for making them or using them medically.

Freedom to Operate is a Non-Profit Corporation Organized Exclusively for
Charitable, Religious, Educational and Scientific Purposes

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Challenge Improperly Claimed Patent Rights

Patent rights that are inappropriately claimed can prevent other individuals and organizations from engaging in research and innovation that would benefit the public.

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Facilitate Science & Medical Research

Primarily by challenging improper patent claims, Freedom to Operate supports and facilitates scientific research for the benefit of all.

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Providing Advocacy & Other Assistance

We provide advocacy around intellectual property and other business issues and we help support the conduct of medical and scientific research.

Who is Freedom to Operate?

Freedom to Operate (FTO)  is a non-profit corporation organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes. FTO was formed primarily to advance science and education and specifically to support and facilitate scientific research in the public interest and public benefit.  

FTO allocates its time to challenging inappropriate patent claims and conducting related medical and scientific research.

Carey Turnbull, CEO, manages these activities without compensation and with the assistance of legal, medical, and technical experts.

Mr. Carey Turnbull headshot

How We are Defending and Employing Psychedelics Research and Development

1. Challenge

We intend to challenge patents that would have the effect of deterring, and potentially preventing, other individuals and organizations from engaging in research and innovation in the public interest.

2. Promote

We undertake further research in order to establish what I know to be true: there can be no patent on psilocybin or LSD as substances, nor on the known methods for making them or using them medically.

3. Create

By challenging mistakenly awarded patents and inappropriate patent rights, we enable research and development of medicines that will benefit the public.

The Case for Psychedelics Research and Development


Psilocybin and LSD are two of a number of psychedelic compounds that can be useful in treating depression, substance abuse disorders, and other serious and painful health issues. 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 17 million people in the United States suffer from or have experienced major depression while millions of others struggle daily with other metal health issues.


Psilocybin was first isolated in 1958 by a Swiss chemist, Dr. Albert Hofmann.  Separate studies by Charles Grob, Stephen Ross, and Roland Griffiths show promising results with participants who received psilocybin in a controlled setting with support.  In fact, the research has shown a long duration of clinically significant reduction of major depression.  

Read more about Psilocybin…


LSD was first synthesized by Dr. Albert Hofmann in 1938 and was for several decades prior to 1980 the subject of extensive research for the treatment of alcohol use disorder and other mental health conditions.  Following its prohibition in the late 1960s research efforts largely came to a halt but now, several decades later, LSD is once again being studied for its potential therapeutic usefulness in treating a range of mental health issues and neurological disorders. 

These are just a few examples of why substances such as psilocybin and LSD should not, and cannot, be patented.

Read more about LSD…