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Client Alert: Supreme Court Confirms ‘Secret Sales’ May Trigger On-Sale Bar

This Client Alert, written by Troy Smith, addresses the Supreme Court's opinion in Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., regarding the scope of the "on-sale bar" to patent applications following the America Invents Act (AIA). The Court clarified that secret sales can qualify as prior art under AIA § 102(a), though the exact boundaries of the post-AIA on-sale bar are somewhat unclear. Following this decision, any agreement with a third party relating to any unfiled inventions should be reviewed to determine whether it affects the deadline to file any corresponding patent applications.

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