Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Federal Circuit - The Medicines Company v. Hospira, Inc. - On Sale Bar of Product-By Process Claim Requires Commercial Sale or Offer for Sale

An inventor will lose US patent rights if an invention is held to be "on sale" more than one year before filing the patent application. Because inventors often engage in business activity before filing the application, attorneys often dispute in litigation if the activity placed the invention on sale. In The Medicines Company v. Hospira, Inc. the Federal Circuit revisited this issue en banc for pre-AIA cases. It concluded that to be on sale a product must be the subject of a commercial sale or offer for sale, and that a commercial sale is one that bears the general hallmarks of a sale pursuant to Section 2-106 of the Uniform Commercial Code. The product-by-process claims were held not invalid since the contract manufacturer was considered the inventor of manufacturing services where neither the title to the embodiments nor the right to market them passed to the supplier. 

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