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 30 December 2014

Seattle Genetics and an alternative question -- but will the CJEU answer it?

The SPC Blog has received further news from our friend Mike Snodin (Park Grove IP) that he has published another article in Scrip Regulatory Affairs. This latest article, entitled “Supplementary Protection Certificates: the Court of Justice of the EU will have its day after all” (a copy of which can be obtained here), relates to the questions referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-471/14 Seattle Genetics [on which see earlier SPC Blogpost here].

As regular readers of this blog will know, the questions referred by the Oberlandesgericht Wien in Seattle Genetics relate to the issue of whether longer term should be awarded to certain SPCs by relying upon the date of notification of a “centralised” Marketing Authorisation instead of the (earlier) date of the European Commission’s decision to issue the Authorisation.

Mike’s article discusses and analyses the questions referred to the CJEU and highlights potential problems with regard to the framing of those questions. In an attempt to clear away any confusion that could be caused by the manner in which the questions referred have been framed, Mike presents an alternative question that is more precisely adapted to the facts underlying Seattle Genetics. He concludes by expressing the hope that the CJEU decides to answer such an alternative question, and by outlining reasons why, in his view, that alternative question should be answered in favour of using the date of notification for “centralised” MAs.

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