As many readers will be aware, it is possible in certain circumstances for the protection afforded in Europe to patented medical and plant protection products to be extended by the grant of a Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC). An SPC is designed to compensate the patentee for delays in marketing due to the need to obtain regulatory approval for such products. Depending on the period between the date of application for a patent and the date of the first marketing authorisation within the European Economic Area (which comprises the EU plus a few other countries), an SPC with a term of up to five years may be granted.
The UKIPO has recently issued a guide to the SPC system which those interested in this form of protection may find useful. Click here for a downloadable copy of the SPC system guide.
29 October 2009