Pre AIA MPEP (Manual of Patent Examining Procedure) states:
Likewise, there may be a nonpublic, e.g., “secret,” sale or offer to sell an invention which nevertheless constitutes a statutory bar. Hobbs v.United States, 451 F.2d 849, 859-60, 171 USPQ 713, 720 (5th Cir. 1971).
In similar fashion, not all “...
It always did until the AIA law went into effect. Now the law says:
" PRIOR ART.—A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—
(1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention;"
If the italicized phrase ...