A niche blog dedicated to the issues that arise when supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) extend patents beyond their normal life -- and to the respective positions of patent owners, investors, competitors and consumers. The blog also addresses wider issues that may be of interest or use to those involved in the extension of patent rights. You can email The SPC Blog here

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Eli Lilly: another batch of SPC questions for CJEU

The UK Intellectual Property Office is soliciting comments from interested parties that might persuade it to become involved in Case C-493/12 Eli Lilly & Co, the latest SPC case to go to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling. There have been so many cases involving Eli Lilly in recent times that this blogger is uncertain precisely which of them has led to this reference, but he suspects that this reference is of British origin, emanating from the Patents Court ...

 The questions posed of the Luxembourg tribunal have at least some familiarity to them:
" (1) What are the criteria for deciding whether the product is protected by a basic patent in force in Article 3(a) of Regulation 469/2009/EC;

(2) Are the criteria different where the product is not a combination product, and if so, what are the criteria?

(3) In the case of a claim to an antibody or a class of antibodies, is it sufficient that the antibody or antibodies are defined in terms of their binding characteristics to a target protein, or is it necessary to provide a structural definition for the antibody or antibodies, and if so, how much?".
If you would like to comment on this case, please email policy@ipo.gsi.gov.uk by 17 December 2012. This may interfere with your end-of-year partying urgent work, but not too much!

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