Sale of Invention May Block Its Patenting Even If Details Are Not Disclosed, Supreme Court Concludes
America Invents Act did not alter the meaning of "on sale," unanimous court finds, so a confidential sale can qualify as prior art.
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During oral argument in Helsinn v. Teva, several justices seemed skeptical of making a distinction between public and private sales of an invention in assessing its patentability.
In case with potentially broad ramifications for biopharma partnerships, high court will hear arguments Dec. 4 on whether America Invents Act changed the "on-sale bar" to patentability to allow inventions that are sold to be patented if their details are not publicly disclosed.
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