KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE U.S. SUPREME COURT’S PATENT DECISION REGARDING PRIOR ART AND SECRET SAL

Nearly eight years after the passage into law of the America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA), the U.S. Supreme Court is still weighing in on the historic reform’s impact on established patent law. In a closely watched case within the patent community, in Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., U.S., No. 17-1229 (Jan 22, 2019) the High Court ruled that the AIA did not upset long-understood interpretations of how sales of a patented product—even if kept confidential—could be cited as prior art to invalidate an issued patent. There are several lessons patent applicants, owners, and challengers of patents can take from this decision.

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