On December 4, 2018, Chris Loh was quoted in the World Intellectual Property Review on how the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a patent dispute between Helsinn Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceuticals, which is likely to result in a reversal in the case, which will have a broad impact. Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that four patents covering Helsinn's Aloxi injection were invalid, noting that Teva had not infringed them.
The Federal Circuit said that the patents were subject to the "on-sale bar," whereby a patent can be rendered invalid if the invention was on sale more than one year before the date of the patent application. This decision was consistent with the pre-America Invents Act (AIA) precedent, meaning that the statutory language of the AIA is at the center of the appeal. According to the article, Helsinn claimed that the AIA narrowed the on-sale bar to sales that are publicly available, but the sales which invalidated Helsinn’s patents were confidential. Teva argued that the plain text of the statute means that even a single sale is sufficient to render the invention unpatentable.
According to Mr. Loh, the decision won't just impact the pharmaceutical field. In Loh's opinion, a ruling in Helsinn's favor would provide some clarity to IP owners on what aspects of their commercial transactions might affect their patent rights.