What is a supplementary protection certificate (SPC)?

Some products not only take a long time to develop but are moreover subject to regulatory approval before they can be marketed. By the time the product is marketed, most of the patent term has often expired. In order to address this problem, a system has been developed such that the maximum lifespan of a granted patent for pharmaceutical compounds and plant protection products can be extended under certain conditions. The supplementary protection certificate (SPC) is an extension of term of the patent for a patented product which is the subject of a market authorization. The term of an SPC is calculated based on the time required for obtaining regulatory authorization and is maximally five years.

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