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

Monday 10 October 2011

Paediatrics and transitional periods: a reader writes

The SPC Blog has received this question from a concerned reader who would like to draw upon the collective brain-power of this weblog. He asks:
"According to Regulation 469/2009, Article 7(4) my understanding is that the transitional period of six months prior to the SPC expiry will rise to two years from 27 January 2012. The implication would appear to be that the six months transition will only exist for current and granted SPCs up to that date. The day after it will change to two years. So, if you are a company working on a paediatric extension using the six months transition, you will have to make sure your application is filed by 27 January 2012. Failure to comply, even by one day, could mean that the application for the paediatric extension will not be allowed. This is bound to cause some problems, a concern shared by the UK Patent Office. The wording in the Regulation has obviously not been constructed to deal with this anomaly.

Also it is not absolutely clear, when the two year transition period comes into force, how SPCs with less than two years duration will be treated. I have been informally advised by the UK Intellectual Property Office that, in such instances, applications for the SPC and any subsequent paediatric extension will have to be filed concurrently".

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