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 6 September 2011

Synthon ruling "raises inevitable concerns"

Placed online yesterday is a Current Intelligence note, "Court of Justice rules on material scope of supplementary protection certificate regime", which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (JIPLP).  This note, authored by Riccardo Sciaudone (Grimaldi e Associati), discusses the ruling of the Court of Justice just five weeks ago in Case C-195/09 Synthon BV v Merz Pharma GmbH & Co. KGaA, Court of Justice of the European Union (Second Chamber), 28 July 2011 (noted here on The SPC Blog).

After reviewing the facts of the ruling and the relevant law, the author comments:
"This much-awaited decision is welcomed for the clear and, in principle, correct answer given to an important point of law. It is crystal clear, from now on, that an SPC for a medicinal product will be valid only if the first marketing authorization in the EU is in line with Europe-wide regulatory rules. 
However, on a more practical level, the ECJ's decision raises inevitable concerns on a possibly significant number of similar cases that could be soon brought before national courts in order to verify the validity of any SPC in question. Furthermore, this situation could also affect additional research and investment for medicinal products that will soon be under scrutiny in respect of their SPC".

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