Supplementary Protection Certificates

A Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) allows the owner of a patent on a pharmaceutical product or a plant protection agent to extend the term of its patent by up to 5 years, to account for the "lost time" between the filing of the patent application and the official authorization of the product in the European Union.

An application for a SPC has to be filed within 6 months after authorization of the product, or, if the product has been authorized before the patent was granted, within 6 months after the patent was granted.

For pediatric medicinal products, the duration of a granted SPC can be further extended by 6 months on request.

For orphan medical products, a specific right for market exclusivity can be obtained for a duration of up to 10 years.

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