Nicole_Jadeja_220_portraitNicole Jadeja is a Senior Associate at Rouse Legal and a member of the BIA’s Intellectual Property Advisory Committee. Following on from her previous blog about Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) FAQs, here Nicole has provided an update on recent developments in the Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPC) field. There have been several developments in the SPC field over the last month. A couple might be of particular interest. The first is a disappointing decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (case C-210/13) which means SPC protection will not be available for adjuvants per se. The Court has essentially treated adjuvants in the same way as it does excipients and said that they are not ‘active ingredients’ for the purposes of the SPC Regulation. It, therefore, felt bound by one of its earlier decisions concerning polymeric, biodegradable excipients. It did not give credit to the fact that adjuvants can be innovative products, which act physiologically and are often the subject of extensive R&D. The disappointment extends to the fact that where you have a patent which protects an active ingredient, SPC protection is only available for the active ingredient itself and not a combination of the active ingredient with an adjuvant. The second is an opinion of the Advocate General in a case (C-484/12) where the primary question concerns whether you can get more than one SPC where your patent covers more than one product. Since the SPC Regulation came into force, many people have been proceeding merrily on the basis that you can. The AG’s opinion only addresses the ancillary questions in the case; the key question is yet to be resolved. However, some commentators consider that, by having answered the ancillary questions as the AG has, all indications are that another disappointing judgment is imminent (it is due this Thursday) – i.e. only one SPC will be available per patent. Procedurally though, it is not a surprise that the AG has only answered the ancillary questions; the Court said at the hearing that this was the approach it would take. There is hope that the Court will see sense on this one and I’m trying to stay optimistic that logic will prevail. However, given the CJEU’s approach to SPCs to date, I wouldn’t put money on it!