This company Helsinn owns patents for something that helps people with cancer being treated by chemotherapy from blowing chunks all the time. It’s bad enough they have cancer and they feel like shit, so there’s a valuable service in at least helping to curb all the puking.
When you patent something like this, it cannot have been sold more than one year prior to the patent, or the America Invents Act (AIA) will consider the patent invalid. Basically, if you put it out into the world for everyone, you can’t take it back later and patent it, you greedy mother fucker. This hurdle is known as the “On-Sale Bar.”
Helsinn sold their product to a friend of theirs, MGI Pharma, but told them, “Seriously, keep this shit on the down-low. We don’t want anyone knowing about it until we get our fucking patent.”
MGI agreed, and did what they were told.
But, because these were public companies, the info was publicly disclosed that they did in fact sell it to MGI, who did honor the agreement not to sell that shit ahead of schedule.
Along comes these opportunistic mother fuckers at Teva who are like, “Hey, we saw that shit. You sold the puke-defender to MGI over a year before your patent application, and we think that amounts to an On-Sale Bar violation. So fuck you and the horse you rode in on, we’re selling that shit.”
Unanimous decision for Teva. Too bad, so sad, Helsinn.
Hear oral arguments or read about the case here.