18 March 2022

European Commission calls for feedback on proposed update to SPC procedure

The European Commission has launched a public call for evidence in response to a proposed reform of the supplementary protection certificate (SPC) system. The initiative will put in place “a unitary SPC and/or a single (unified) procedure for granting national SPCs” in an effort to benefit the health sector by making them more accessible and efficient.

Following an evaluation in 2020, the Commission identified that SPCs being granted and administered nationally is the “main shortcoming” of the current system: “SPC applications are currently filed at the national patent office of each EU Member State where protection is sought and in which a basic patent, to be extended, has been granted. This undermines their effectiveness and efficiency.” The initiative is intended to tackle the following key issues:

  1. Divergent outcomes of the grant procedures across EU countries
  2. Lack of unitary SPC protection for the future unitary patent
  3. Suboptimal transparency of SPC-related information
  4. High cost and administrative burden for SPC users

Further information about the initiative is available to download here. Feedback can be provided until Tuesday 5 April 2022, please click here to have your say.

For more information about SPCs, visit our webpage here.