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

06 Feb 2019

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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