Last Updated March 08, 2019

Law and Practice

Contributed By Linklaters

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Linklaters is a leading international law firm, and has advised on significant deals in over 100 countries. In addition to serving clients from its 30 offices and via its alliance with Allens and Webber Wentzel, Linklaters’ lawyers have expertise in key jurisdictions across emerging Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. In Belgium, Linklaters is recognised as a market-leading law firm, with a presence in the Belgian market dating from 1969 and with offices in both Brussels and Antwerp. Its wide offering of specialised practices, ranging from corporate and banking to IP/TMT and tax, means that the firm provides market-leading advice across the full spectrum of legal specialities.

It is possible to extend the term of a Belgian or European patent for medical and plant protection products through an SPC, if a marketing authorisation has been granted under certain conditions described below. This has been introduced to (at least partially) remedy the loss of effective protection during the time needed to obtain market authorisation for such products.

The SPC legislative framework is harmonised at the EU level. An SPC is a national title granted by the local IP office of the EU Member State that granted the basic patent as well as a market authorisation. The requirements for granting an SPC are as follows: at the date of application of an SPC, the product must be covered by a basic patent, a valid market authorisation (ie, the first authorisation to put the product on the market as a medicinal or plant protection product) must have been granted, and it must be the first time that the product is subject to an SPC.

An SPC has a term of protection starting at the date of expiry of the patent and equal to the time that elapsed between the filing of the basic patent application and the date of the first market authorisation (ie, according to currently prevailing Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) case law, the date that the decision has been communicated to the applicant) reduced by five years and with a maximum of five years. In certain cases, another six-month extension is available for medicinal products for paediatric use.

Linklaters

13 Rue Brederode
Brussels
1000

+32 2 501 90 86

+32 2 501 91 14

pieter.van_den_broecke@linklaters.com www.linklaters.com
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Authors



Linklaters is a leading international law firm, and has advised on significant deals in over 100 countries. In addition to serving clients from its 30 offices and via its alliance with Allens and Webber Wentzel, Linklaters’ lawyers have expertise in key jurisdictions across emerging Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. In Belgium, Linklaters is recognised as a market-leading law firm, with a presence in the Belgian market dating from 1969 and with offices in both Brussels and Antwerp. Its wide offering of specialised practices, ranging from corporate and banking to IP/TMT and tax, means that the firm provides market-leading advice across the full spectrum of legal specialities.

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