Unitary supplementary protection certificate for plant protection products

Briefing 18-04-2024

The supplementary protection certificate (SPC) is a specific intellectual property right that extends the basic patent's market exclusivity for plant protection products. The unitary patent became operational in the EU on 1 June 2023, unifying patent protection in all participating Member States. Despite this significant change, SPCs, which are inseparable from patent protection, remain regulated at national level. This fragmented regulatory approach has proven ineffective, leading to excessive administrative costs for SPC applicants, who have to navigate the national laws of each Member State where they seek SPC protection. To address this issue, on 27 April 2023 the Commission submitted a proposal for a regulation introducing a unitary SPC for plant protection products as a complement to the protection offered by the unitary patent. This proposal, coupled with a parallel proposal for an SPC for plant protection products of the same date, seeks to harmonise the process of granting SPCs for plant protection products in the single market. In Parliament, the proposal was assigned to the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI), with Tiemo Wölken (S&D, Germany) as rapporteur. Following the approval of the reports on the two proposals by the Parliament plenary at first reading, Parliament adopted its position for the interinstitutional negotiations. The Council has yet to agree on its negotiating mandate. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.