Glyn Truscott, Elkington + Fife
6 December 2017Big Pharma

LSPN Europe 2017: Challenges around the unitary SPC

Panellists at the Life Sciences Patent Network Europe (LSPN) conference in London today discussed the challenges around a potential unitary supplementary protection certificate (SPC).

The European Commission is considering the introduction of a unitary SPC, as part of a review of the SPC system.

The consultation is also considering the creation of a waiver that could allow generic manufacture ahead of an SPC expiring.

Glyn Truscott, partner at Elkington + Fife, said we should assume a European SPC would align with the proposed unitary patent, but given the uncertainty over that new right and that the Commission is behind the unitary SPC, it should be explored that the unitary SPC can cover validated European patents.

He added that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement doesn’t mention an SPC in great detail, so it is challenging to deal with.

Sven Bostyn, senior lecturer in IP law at the University of Liverpool, quipped that “maybe they should make the UPC work first”.

On the waiver, Andrew Brown, head of IP at Aspire Pharmaceuticals, said it is needed because of the “significant offshoring” of pharmaceutical manufacturing, which is a strategic industry for the EU. “It’s really important,” he said.

LSPN Europe is being hosted by Life Sciences IP Review.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at