A Step Towards A Unitary SPC?
The European Commission has recently announced a new initiative aimed at creating a single procedure for granting Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) (https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13353-Medicinal-&-plant-protection-products-single-procedure-for-the-granting-of-SPCs_en).
Currently, SPCs are applied for and granted at the national level. In its announcement the Commission comments that “differences between EU countries in its administration and enforcement create inefficiencies” and says that the new initiative “will put in place a unitary SPC and/or a single (‘unified’) procedure for granting national SPCs”.
Calls for evidence are not yet open*, and whether the proposal would be for legislation creating a unitary SPC or only a unitary procedure for obtaining a bundle of national SPCs is unclear. However, perhaps with an eye to the expected opening of the Unified Patents Court later this year, the Commission has set a timeline of end of March 2022 to make progress.
*Since posting this article, the European Commission is inviting feedback from 08 March 2022 – 05 April 2022 (midnight Brussels time).