On-sale bar to patentability stretched by the courts

Jim Singer in IP Spotlight reminds companies, inventors, and professionals performing due diligence that offers for sale of even hypothetical concepts can bar eventual patentability. In August Technology Corp. v. Camtek, Ltd. (Fed. Cir. Aug. 22, 2011), the Court found that August Technology’s offer for sale of an integrated circuit inspection system triggered an on-sale bar to patentability, even though the system was not ready for patenting at the time the offer to sell was made.