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 26 February 2010

Advocate General's Opinion out for C-66/09

Last year, Lithuania referred some preliminary questions for a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Communities in C-66/09 (Kirin Amgen, Inc. v Lietuvos Respublikos valstybinis patentų biuras). You can refresh your mind by reading the questions referred here.

The Advocate General has now presented his conclusions on C-66/09 to the Court of Justice and these can be summarized as follows:
- the SPC Regulation took effect in Lithuania on the accession date (1 May 04)
- the EMEA marketing authorization for Aranesp (granted in 2001) also took effect in Lithuania on the accession date [NB: Kirin did not seek a separate MA in Lithuania]
- the 'effective' MA date in Lithuania cannot be equated to the date on which the product was first placed on the market within the meaning of article 3(b) of the Regulation
- Kirin cannot therefore be granted a SPC because they had not obtained a Lithuanian MA for Aranesp before the accession date.
Unfortunately, the Opinion isn't available in English yet, but in French or in German, or if you're up for a challenge this weekend you can read it in Lithuanian here.

Thanks to Marc Nevant (Cabinet Beau de Loménie) for providing an English summary of the conclusions.

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