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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 medicinal products will undergo rigorous assessment and clinical trials before a marketing authorisation is finally granted, there is a risk that the patent expires before the pharmaceutical company has had time to make some return on its investment.


To compensate for the short effective life of a patent in this sector, most jurisdictions have provisions for supplementary protection certificates, which can extend the period of protection of a medicinal product for up to 5 years (or up to 5.5 years for paediatric medicinal products). This extension is a considerable asset, especially when relating to blockbuster drugs generating significant profits. 

Please contact our experts for more information:

Reuben Jacob, Dr. Fiona Kellas

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