Anyone familiar with supplementary protection certificate (SPC) law will know the importance of the definition of “product” for SPC purposes. “Product” is defined within art.1(b) of Regulation (EC) No 469/2009 (the SPC Regulation) and plays a central role in the interpretation of that Regulation, in particular as regards the conditions for obtaining an SPC set out in art.3.
In this article, Nicola Dagg and Steven Baldwin, along with Dr Tony Rollins, discuss the European Commission’s decision to conduct a study into the legal aspects of SPCs. This, along with the UK’s recent vote to leave the EU, make now an appropriate time to consider the current law as set out in the SPC Regulation.
The article examines how companies have approached the definition of product when applying for SPCs, how the understanding of this definition has developed since the SPC Regulation came into force, and how various courts within Europe (including the Court of Justice of the EU) have dealt with the definition of product. In addition, the authors provide some proposals for how the definition of product could be amended and a useful historical background to the definition of product in the SPC Regulation.
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This material was first published by Thomson Reuters and Contributors in Nicola Dagg, Steve Baldwin and Dr Tony Rollins , “The definition of product in the SPC Regulation: (Part 1 of 2) What’s in a name?”, (2017) 39 (9) E.I.P.R. 555-564, and is reproduced by agreement with the Publishers.