February 20, 2014

Extended protection for pharmaceutical patents in Europe: where are we now?

Arnold & Porter Advisory

The end of 2013 was a busy time at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJ), with rulings in a number of references from national courts concerning supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) which extend the term of protection for pharmaceutical patents. This is a seemingly simple concept yet has led to a thicket of litigation. Earlier in 2013, a leading patents judge described the SPC system as "dysfunctional".

In this Advisory we discuss whether the CJ's recent rulings clarify things (or have the opposite effect), and give practical guidance on what the decisions mean for innovators and where uncertainties remain. For your convenience, a short-form Advisory is also available here.

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