Supplementary Protection Certificates (Patent Extensions)

1st Edition

Law and Practice


  • Duncan Curley
  • Supplementary Protection Certificates (Patent Extensions)

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    Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPC) (Patents Extensions) for pharmaceutical and veterinary products were introduced in Europe in 1993. In 1996, a similar regime was introduced for agrochemical (crop protection) products. SPCs extend the period of protection given by a patent for a maximum of five years after the patent has expired. SPCs are of enormous commercial significance to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, since they provide additional monopoly protection at a time when many products are reaching peak sales. Supplementary Protection Certificates (Patent Extensions): Law and Practice provides a practical, unifying and comprehensive guide to the law as it now stands.

    Key Features

    • Provides a comprehensive, practical guide to the EU Regulations
    • Drawing on the case law from the EU Member States and the European Court of Justice, contains an examination of the kinds of products that may be protected by SPCs and the limitations of the European SPC regime
    • Details the new system for the grant of six-month pediatric extensions to SPCs for medicinal products

    Table of Contents

    Historical background: Patent term erosion and the need for SPCs; The SPC regulation for pharmaceutical and veterinary products; The scheme of the regulation in outline; The SPC regulation for plant protection products; Scope of protection of SPCs: What are covered, what are not covered; Applying for SPCs: Administrative aspects; SPCs in practice: The case law in detail; Analysing the raediatric regulation and paediatric extensions.


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    © 2025
    Chandos Publishing
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    About the author

    Duncan Curley

    Dr Duncan Curley trained and qualified in the intellectual property department of a ‘magic circle’ law firm in London, eventually becoming a partner at the international law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery. He set up his own law firm – Innovate Legal – in June 2007, specialising in advice to companies operating in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. Dr Curley has appeared in a number of high profile cases throughout his career, including Lenzing v Courtaulds (judicial review of a decision by the European Patent Office), Bespak v 3M (patent revocation proceedings concerning metered dose inhalers) and BioProgress v Stanelco (patent dispute concerning drug encapsulation technology). He is the author of over fifty published articles and his first book – Intellectual Property Licences and Technology Transfer (published by Chandos) – is the leading practical textbook on the impact of European competition law on technology licensing and the block exemption.