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 March 2012

Court of Justice sprints to reasoned order in Case C-422/11

A Court of Justice judge models
his new uniform ...
 The SPC Blog has received today a note from Brian Cordery (Bristows) concerning the Reasoned Order of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-442/11Novartis v Actavis, this being a reference from the Patents Court, England and Wales (Floyd J), noted on this blog here. The Reasoned Order is dated 9 February but was only released to the parties' lawyers at the end of last week.

Brian observes that the operative part of the ruling [which is not yet available on Curia but you can read it in full, here] is as follows:
"Articles 4 and 5 of Regulation ... 469/2009 ...  concerning the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products must be interpreted as meaning that, where a 'product' consisting of an active ingredient was protected by a basic patent and the holder of that patent was able to rely on the protection conferred by that patent for that 'product' in order to oppose the marketing of a medicinal product containing that active ingredient in combination with one or more other active ingredients, a supplementary protection certificate granted for that 'product' enables its holder, after the basic patent has expired, to oppose the marketing by a third party of a medicinal product containing that product for a use of the 'product', as a medicinal product, which was authorised before that certificate expired."
He adds, and this blogger agrees, that most SPC devotees will not be surprised by this ruling: it appears to be the logical consequence of the recent Court of Justice rulings in Medeva and Georgetown.

One point of interest is how (relatively) speedily the Court of Justice dealt with this reference. Admittedly, it didn't require detailed knowledge of the field of technology and the reference was on an issue on which it has been focusing a good deal in recent times, but the time between the referring court's decision to refer and the Court of Justice's order was little over eight months.

Thanks, Brian, for letting us know!


Anonymous said...

as said yesterday, the order is available on curia

Jeremy said...

Thank you, Anonymous.

I've tried several times today to get the order on Curia and I've only now been able to do so. I have been repeatedly rewarded with messages stating that no search result matched my specification.

Maybe its my browser -- or just my misfortune!

IE-Forum said...


Anonymous said...

C-574/11 is also available on Curia!