The Israel PTO recently accepted that for the purpose of calculating the duration of IL PTEs the EMA MA notification date shall be taken into account. This development changes the practice of the IL PTO and comes only a few months after the IL Patents Commissioner held that the EMA MA grant date should be used.Many thanks to Liad for sharing the news with us!
The Israeli PTE system is unique and is based on a series of linkages to the expiry dates and extension periods of the US PTE and SPCs granted in any of the EU-5 countries (United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain and Germany). In addition, the Israeli PTE must end no later than 14 years from the earliest date in which a regulatory approval was obtained in either the Unites States or the EU-5 countries.
In the matter of IL PTE petition for Apixaban (Eliquis®) published on September 16th, 2015, the IL Patents Commissioner held that for the purpose of calculating the duration of IL PTEs the EMA MA grant date rather than the EMA MA notification date will be used. As a consequence, the PTE for Apixaban (Eliquis®) will expire in Israel two days earlier than would have been the case if the EMA MA notification date started the 14 year count. The IL Commissioner justified his decision by referring to the lack of uniformity between different European Patent Offices on this issue (i.e., whether the EMA grant date or the EMA notification date should be used to calculate the duration of SPCs under Article 13 of Regulation No 469/2009). However, the IL Commissioner was not apprised of the opinion of the ECJ advocate general (AG) in Seattle Genetics which was published prior to the decision in the Apixaban case. If the IL Commissioner had been apprised of the opinion of the AG, the Commissioner would have likely reached a different result.
In any event, after the CJEU published its binding decision in Seattle Genetics (case C-471/14) on October 6th, 2015, it was only a matter of time until the IL PTO would be called to reevaluate its position. In the matter of IL PTE petition for secukinumab (Cosentyx®), the IL PTO examiner initially calculated the IL PTE period based on the EMA grant date which was 4 days earlier than the notification date. The patentee argued that once the CJEU issued a final decision, which is applicable in all of the EU-5 Countries (among others), holding that the calculation of the duration of supplementary protection should be based on the EMA MA notification date – the IL PTO is bound to follow the CJEU determination. The IL PTO reevaluated its position and decided to follow the CJEU ruling, effectively canceling the IL Commissioner’ decision in the matter of IL PTE petition for Apixaban (Eliquis®).
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
Wednesday, 6 April 2016
Friday, 1 April 2016
On January 21, 2016 the Higher Regional Court of Vienna, Austria, issued a decision (34 R 104/15) on the interpretation of Art. 3(b) of Regulation 469/2009 in the light of the Neurim judgment of the CJEU (case C-130/11). In the case underlying the appeal to the Higher Regional Court of Vienna, the Austrian Patent Office had rejected an SPC application that was based on a second medical use patent (EP 0 758 900) and a Type II variation of an existing (national) marketing authorization for Botox due to which the indication protected by the selected basic patent, i.e. treatment of chronic migraine, was added to the already approved indications of Botox. The Examiner had calculated the 6-month time limit for filing the SPC application according to Art. 7(1) of Regulation 469/2009 from the date of the very first marketing authorization for Botox in Austria. In his view, the amendment by a Type II variation of a marketing authorization does not newly trigger the 6-month time limit for applying for an SPC.Many thanks to Bianca-Lucia and Klemens for sharing this decision!
However, following the considerations of the European Court of Justice in the Neurim decision C-130/11, the Higher Regional Court of Vienna ruled that a marketing authorization as amended by a Type II variation can be considered as a valid marketing authorization in the sense of Art. 3(b) of Regulation 469/2009. The Court also emphasized that patent protection and marketing authorization must harmonize in terms of content, and that earlier authorizations do not deprive the more recent authorization of a patented use from being the “first authorization” pursuant to Art. 3(d) of Regulation 469/2009, if the earlier authorization refers to areas not protected by the basic patent.
Accordingly, the Court also held that an earlier authorization granted for a use outside the scope of protection of the patent has no negative effect in so far as it does not trigger the 6-month time limit pursuant to Art. 7(1) of Regulation 469/2009. Therefore, the contested decision had to be reversed, and the Patent Office ordered to render a decision on the merits as to whether the application had been filed in due time.
Applying the principles set forth by the CJEU in Neurim, the Higher Regional Court Vienna hence confirmed that an SPC application may be filed on the basis of a Type II variation of an existing marketing authorization as “valid authorization to place the product on the market” according Art. 3(b) and “first authorization” in the sense of Art. 3(d) of Regulation 469/2009.