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

Friday 14 November 2008

Italia and the Certificati Complementari di Protezione

The tour of European countries with SPCs continues. this time reaching Italy: the country with the exceptionally long SPCs which are still alive and well.

Right: Italy leading the pack

As most seasoned readers will be aware, the Certificati Complementari di Protezione (CCP) were introduced in Italy first via Italian law by law number 349/91 (October 1991), and were subsequently replaced by European Regulation 1768/92 (2 January 1993).

The intial Italian CCPs provided for a maximum duration of protection of a whopping 18 years from the date on which the patent reaches the end of its life. It is estimated that between October 1991 and January 1993 roughly 400 active compounds received CCP protection and roughly 190 are still in force. The last CCPs are expected to expire in 2011. Omeprazole still appears to benefit from a CCP (which is set to expire in 2010).

Information on deposited and granted SPCs can be obtained from this website on the website of the Italian Patent Office, unfortunately all in Italian.

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