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Intellectual Property


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Supplementary Protection Certificates

SPCs can extend the length of patent protection in relation to particular pharmaceutical products, both human and veterinary, as well as plant protection.

A patent application would normally be filed at the initial stages of research and because pharmaceutical products or plant protection products will undergo rigorous assessment and trials before a marketing authorisation is finally granted, there is a risk that the patent expires before the pharmaceutical or agricultural company has had time to make some return on its investment.


To compensate for the short effective life of a patent in this sector, European jurisdictions have provisions for supplementary protection certificates, which can extend the period of protection of a pharmaceutical or plant protection product for up to 5 years (or up to 5.5 years for paediatric drugs). This extension is a considerable asset, especially when relating to blockbuster drugs generating significant profits. In many other countries, different ways of patent term extension serve the same goal.


Related News


What is a Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC)?


CJEU Decision on Supplementary Protection Certificates


Can a Supplementary Protection Certificate be obtained for a previously marketed active ingredient?


Life Sciences Intellectual Property Experts in Scotland


Our team in Edinburgh advise clients in the extensive medical research sector in Scotland which, benefitting from investment from the Scottish Government, is now responsible for £2.4 billion gross revenue for the Scottish economy.


Our IP attorneys in Scotland have a particular focus on Life Sciences, MedTech and Medical devices. They advise clients of all sizes in preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications on an international scale, including in the USA and Europe. The team has experience advising start-up companies and entrepreneurs.


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