Supplementary Protection Certificates
Supplementary protection certificate (SPC) may be obtained in relation to individual medicinal and plant protection products disclosed in a patent. The certificate extends the protection conferred by the patent beyond its 20-year term for a period of up to five years.Medicinal products, and many agricultural chemicals, require market authorisation before they can be sold commercially. Though this process is independent of the patent granting procedure, the owner of such inventions may find that though they have a patent for their product, they may still have to wait for a number of years before they obtain the necessary authorisation to market it. SPCs compensate the patentee for this loss of time, by extending the patent protection for specific products by up to five years.
An SPC does not extend the duration of the patent itself, but only the protection for the specific product subject to market authorisation.