Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) are stand-alone rights that can be obtained for pharmaceuticals and plant protection products that require regulatory approval before they can be put on the market. An SPC enters into force at the expiry of a basic patent protecting the product in question.
The duration of the SPC depends on when the marketing authorisation was issued, and is capped at a maximum of five years. An SPC only protects products that are both protected by the basic patent and any marketing authorisation issued before expiry of the SPC.
While the legal framework governing SPCs are EU regulations, SPCs remain national rights and applications for SPCs must be filed with national patent offices within six months of issuance of an authorisation to market the product or grant of a patent protecting the product, whichever is later. SPCs are also available in Norway, in line with the EEA agreement.
Zacco’s attorneys in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany have vast experience in filing and prosecuting SPC applications, and also defending and challenging SPCs in contentious matters.