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Appealed from: U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Judge Dickran Tevrizian

OEA, Inc. appeals from a summary judgment by the United States District Court for the Central District of California holding OEA’s U.S. Patent No. 5,404,263 invalid because OEA had contracted with a supplier to have the patent’s commercial embodiment mass-produced more than one year before it filed a patent application, thereby invoking the on-sale bar under 35 U.S.C. � 102(b). See Special Devices, Inc. v. OEA, Inc., 117 F. Supp. 2d 989, 995-96 (C.D. Cal. 2000). OEA now invites us to create an exception to the on-sale bar, one that would allow inventors to stockpile commercial embodiments of their patented invention via commercial contracts with suppliers more than a year before they file their patent application.

Because neither the text of section 102(b) nor the precedent interpreting it permits this proposed exception, and because the primary purpose of the on-sale bar is to promote prompt patent filings, we decline OEA’s invitation and affirm the district court’s judgment.

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