CJEU seeks to clarify SPC rules post-Medeva

On 12 December, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered three important rulings on supplementary protection certificates under Regulation 469/2009/EC (SPC Regulation). All the rulings follow in the aftermath of the CJEU’s seminal Medeva (C-322/10) decision of 2011. However, only two (Georgetown University and Actavis Group v Sanofi) can be said to clarify matters. Indeed, Georgetown will provide considerable relief for SPC owners. However, the third, Eli Lilly, sends an important issue back to the national courts, where different interpretations now seem inevitable.

In Georgetown University (C-484/12), the CJEU has held that the SPC Regulation does not preclude the grant of more than one SPC per patent when the basic patent in force actually protects several products.

In 2007, Georgetown University filed seven SPC applications referring to its basic patent entitled ‘Vaccine against HPV’ covering the combination of the four active ingredients as well as one active ingredient individually…

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