Examples - Sold or Offered for Sale in U.S.

General. The following hypothetical examples teach this concept:

Hypothetical Example No. 1. Buckminster includes an invitation to make an offer to buy the widget he invented in a newpaper advertisement. One year and one day later he files a U.S. patent application on the widget. The USPTO rejects Buckminster's claims using the advertisement as evidence that an offer to sell occurred more than a year before his patent application was filed.

Hypothetical Example No. 2. Yury files a U.S. patent application on an invention. The Examiner finds that the same invention (independently invented by Isadora) was offered for sale in a catalog two years before Yury's filing date and rejects Yury's application.

Hypothetical Example No. 3. In licensing his invention, Charles also transfers a functioning and tested prototype of his invention to his licensee. Three years later, his licensee agrees to file for a patent on the invention in Charles' name. The USPTO refuses to issue a patent to Charles, not because the invention was licensed but because the prototype was sold more than one year before the filing date.

Hypothetical Example No. 4. Walter secretly sells his invention, a novel process for producing widgets, to Abraham. Years later, when others start producing widgets in competition with Abraham, he convinces Walter to file a U.S. patent application on his process. The USPTO denies patentability to the invention because it was offered for sale more than on year before Walter's filing date.

Case Law. The following examples from U.S. case law teach this concept:

Envirotech Corp. v. Westech Engineering Inc., 905 F.2d 1571, 15 USPQ 2d 1230 (CAFC 1990)
Ferag AG v. Quipp Inc., 45 F.3d 1562, 33 USPQ 2d 1512 (CAFC), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 71 (1995)
Micro Chemical v. Great Plains Chemical Co., 103 F.3d 1538, 41 USPQ 2d 1238 (CAFC 1997)
UMC Electronics Co. v. United States, 816 F.2d 647, 2 USPQ 2d 1465 (CAFC 1987)

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