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 13 October 2009

Paediatric extensions: "more disharmony"

The cover story of the October 2009 issue of Informa's ten-times-a-year Patent World is a review by Ewan Nettleton (Bristows) entitled "Paediatric Extensions -- more SPC disharmony?" According to the appetiser on the journal's website,
"There has been a flurry of cases concerning supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) in recent months, several of which concern the so-called ‘paediatric extension’. These extensions to the term of an SPC were introduced into European legislation a couple of years ago as part of a package of measures to incentivise the pharmaceutical industry to conduct the necessary tests and trials to assess whether medicines are appropriate to administer to children".
The article, which sets out the basic legal propositions underpinning paediatric extensions, went to print before the Court of Appeal belatedly handed down its decision to reverse the decision of the High Court in E I du Pont Nemours & Co v United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office [2009] EWCA Civ 966 (see The SPC Blog here). In endorsing the Dutch approach which Ewan Nettleton summarises in his article, the Court of Appeal has done its bit to reduce the disharmony -- but there is still scope for discord ...

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