On-sale bar created by third party

The Federal Circuit’s Junker v. Medical Components, Inc. decision is a good reminder of the importance of pursuing patent protection earlier rather than later.  Mr. Junker filed for and received U.S. Design Patent No. D450,839 for a catheter sheath.  Prior to filing, Junker sought a third party to handle the manufacture of his new design and entered into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the third party.  Discussions continued over several months and a prototype was provided to Junker.  Apparently without Junker’s knowledge, the third party offered Junker’s design for sale to Boston Scientific sending a letter detailing bulk pricing information more than one year prior to filing date of the design patent. The third party’s actions created an on-sale bar that invalidated Junker’s design patent.