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

Monday, 18 February 2013

Isoxadifen and SPCs for safeners: UK invites comments

Following on from The SPC Blog's earlier posts here and here, the UK Intellectual Property Office has now issued a circular inviting interested parties to comment on the Court of Justice of the European Union reference in Case C-11/13 Bayer CropScience so that the UK government can decide what, if any, position it wishes to take with regard to the question referred. To jog readers' memories, the IPO explains:
The appellant is seeking a supplementary protection certificate for ‘Isoxadifen and the salts and esters thereof’. Isoxadifen is a ‘safener’, that is, a substance added to a product to prevent the harmful action of an herbicide in plants.

The referring Court asks whether such a safener falls within the meaning of the terms ‘product’ in Article 3(1) and Article 1(8), and ‘active substance’ in Article 1(3) of the Regulation.
While the precise official English version of the reference from the German Bundespatentgericht does not appear to be available, the gist of the question is clear.

If you would like to comment on this case please email policy@ipo.gsi.gov.uk by 25 February 2013.

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