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Pre AIA MPEP (Manual of Patent Examining Procedure) states: https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s2133.html 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 “...


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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 ...


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