EU Court Clarifies Drug Patent Expiration
Friday, October 16, 2015
A ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union has clarified when drug patents expire, in a decision that could prove lucrative for drugmakers even though it adds only a few days of patent protection.
The case, Seattle Genetics Inc. v. Austrian Patent Office, deals with a specific aspect of European patent law known as a supplementary protection certificate, which extends the duration of certain rights associated with a patent. SPCs take effect after the general patent expires and typically last for five years. The combined exclusivity from the patent and SPC is normally capped at 15 years from the time the product first receives marketing authorization.