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 28 September 2011

New book -- a mega-title for SPCs

The SPC Blog is delighted to advise readers of a really helpful resource which will shortly be available.  It's a new book, Ergänzende Schutzzertifikate mit pädiatrischer Laufzeitverlängerung / Supplementary Protection Certificates with Paediatric Extension of Duration -- a commentary on the law relating to SPCs by Dr Christopher Brückner (Patentanwalt, Apotheker, Bardehle Pagenberg, Munich) and Peter von Czettritz (Rechtsanwalt, Preu Bohlig & Partner, Munich).  The vast scale of this work -- it's over 550 pages in length -- is accounted for by the fact that it is bilingual in German and English.

Dr Brückner has kindly given the blog some information about this commentary and what it seeks to achieve:
"Comments regarding the SPC Commentary

1. Users do not deal with this property right on a daily basis. But when they do, they are dealing with particularly valuable property rights and are confronted with particularly complex legal questions. This might be one of the reasons why no authors have taken this topic upon themselves up till now. 
2. The bilingual version allows for European-wide application and (hopefully) contributes to the harmonization of this property right in the community. 
3. Alongside the comparison of secondary sources it was at least just as important for the author to go directly to the wording of the Regulation and to consider what arose out of it. Naturally, this is particularly reflected in the passages for which hardly any secondary sources exist, for example Articles 4 and 5 (subject matter of protection and effects of the protection certificate). Further, by comparing the translations, it was possible to uncover several inconsistencies in the wording as between the English and German versions of the Regulations. 
4. As is explained by this author in his preface, he was initially interested in the abstract legal system, interested in what could result out of the wording of the Regulations, patent law, regulatory law and judicial practice. This is meant to ensure that the system is penetrated as completely as possible and that unpleasant surprises are avoided. Whether these points are relevant in practice was initially of secondary importance. This will arise out of further discussion. 
5. A newly introduced element is the “inner discussion”. This allows the author to introduce a problem, quickly summarize both points of view, compare possible pro and contra arguments, and to then reach his own conclusion. An illustrative example therefore is the discussion on protection certificates for combination products, in which the author, in clear contrast for example to the General Advocate in Medeva, takes a stand on the preference of the infringement theory. 
6. The external design was kept as user-friendly as possible: short paragraphs, so that the reader is able to navigate to the mentioned thoughts via the recitals, many short headings as well as a detailed structure, so that the reader can already see from the structure where everything is explained. 
7. The commentary is not satisfied with discussing merely existing issues and comparing opinions already presented, it also poses its own questions that have not already been discussed but which could quickly become very relevant in the near future such as, for example, the extension of an SPC term by means of foreign pediatric studies or the relationship of paediatric studies to the scope of protection of the basic patent, which is discussed in the special section paediatric extension of duration, written by von Czettritz and Brückner. Thus, the commentary takes over an active part in the development of the future of this property right".
Published by the Carl Heymanns Verlag imprint of Wolters Kluwer Deutschland GmbH, the book's ISBN is ISBN 978-3-452-27566-0.  Publication should take place within the next three-to-four weeks and its website is here.

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