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 3 April 2009

How far from Vilnius to Luxembourg?

Just when you think things in the wonderful world of SPCs can't get any more exciting than they already are, they do. Yesterday we reported on the reference in Synthon v Merz Pharma. On the same day the Curia website posted the information that there is to be yet another reference of a preliminary question for a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Communities. This time the reference comes from Lithuania, from the Lietuvos Aukščiausiasis Teismas in Case C-66/09 Kirin Amgen, Inc. v Lietuvos Respublikos valstybinis patentų biuras. The questions referred are as follows:
"1. Is the date, referred to in Article 19(2) of Regulation No 1768/92, upon which that regulation enters into force to be understood for Lithuania as the date of its accession to the European Union?
2. Should the answer to the first question be in the affirmative, what is the relationship between Article 19 and Article 7 of Regulation No 1768/92 when calculating the six-month period and which of those articles is it necessary to apply in a case?

3. Did an authorisation to place a product on the market in the European Community enter into force unconditionally in the Republic of Lithuania from the date of its accession to the European Union?

4. Should the answer to the third question be in the affirmative, can the entry into force of the authorisation to place the product on the market be equated to its grant for the purposes of Article 3(b) of Regulation No 1768/92?"

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