According to the IPO's summary (to which we have added some handy links and emboldened text):
This is the third decision of the IPO since March 2014 on whether an SPC can be obtained based on the approval for a class III medical device. Of interest here is that fact that there was a significant difference between the date when the device was approved and the date when the patent was granted. This made it necessary to consider which was the relevant version of the legislation with regard to approval of medical device or approval of medicinal products: was it the version in force when the device approval was granted or the version in force when the patent was granted for a medical device?
EC Design Examination Certificate no. ID 60004045 0001, dated 21 January 2003, was filed in support of SPC applications, SPC/GB/14/030 for the product “Taxol®” and SPC/GB/14/031 for the product “Taxol®-eluding stent”. These SPC applications concern the use of paclitaxel (referred to by its trade mark, Taxol®) for preventing restenosis. The stent prevents restenosis by physically keeping the blood vessel open while a paclitaxel coating on the stent hinders cell division so preventing the formation of new blood tissue that would block the open blood vessel. The applicant argued that the procedure for obtaining an EC Design Examination Certificate under Directive 93/42/EEC for this device is sufficiently identical to the procedure under Directive 2001/83/EC for the approval of a medicinal product for human use and, as such, it can be used in support of an SPC application under article 3(b) of the SPC Regulation.
C-109/12 and also considered the relevance of previous IPO decisions concerning medical devices Cerus (BL O/141/14) and Leibniz (BL O/328/14). The HO concluded that the SPC Regulation does not provide for all products which have to have some form of authorisation before being placed on the market as being worthy of an SPC but only those authorised under the directives referred to in Article 2 of this Regulation, including Directive 2001/83/EC. He did not consider that the assessment criteria used to obtain an EC Design Examination Certificate under Directive 93/42/EEC is the same as that to obtain a marketing authorisation under Directive 2001/83/EC. The objectives of both of these systems are different given the differing uses of medicinal products and medical devices and the different means used to approve their use in humans. As a consequence, the SPC applications were found not to meet the requirements of the SPC Regulation and were rejected under Article 10(2) of this Regulation.
The decision also considered the relevance of CJEU Case C-109/12 Laboratoires Lyocentre where the CJEU was asked whether the classification of a capsule as a medical device under Directive 93/42 in some Members States prevented it being classified as a medical product under Directive 2001/83 in others.