"The SPC has proven an effective instrument in protecting innovation for medicinal products. The most important difference with the instrument of RDP is the duration of the protection. Both RDP and SPC use the first marketing authorisation date as the starting point for the protection period, but RDP is limited to 10 or 11 years, and an SPC can stay valid until 15 years have elapsed.
A disadvantage of both SPC and RDP is that both use the first original marketing authorisation for a specific medicinal product as the basis for protection. The major importance of incremental development of medicinal products after their first marketing is not recognised by either protection mechanism. This may lead to ‘orphaning’ of medicinal products, which could have been extremely useful for different applications other than the one they were originally authorised for, because it is difficult for industry to invest in know-how that will not lead to additional returns".
A niche blog dedicated to the issues that arise when supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) extend patents beyond their normal life -- and to the respective positions of patent owners, investors, competitors and consumers. The blog also addresses wider issues that may be of interest or use to those involved in the extension of patent rights. You can email The SPC Blog here