Patent Term Extensions

Extending the term of a patent can be an extremely effective way for owners to generate extra value from their IP. Typically available where a product had to undergo significant testing before coming to market, a Patent Term Extension (PTE) can give up to an extra five years of protection. PTEs tend to apply to medicines and agrochemicals (herbicides or pesticides), and in some countries they’re also used for medical devices. 

The key is to seek advice early; that way the patent application process and the product development cycle can be coordinated to increase the chances of success. Our attorneys have in-depth experience of this complex and evolving area of the law and over many years we have helped clients to obtain PTEs in a long list of jurisdictions.

There is no international system for obtaining patent term extensions – instead, the rights must be obtained on a country-by-country basis as the patents are granted and the corresponding products receive marketing authorisations. For example, in many European states the extension is obtained in the form of a Supplementary Protection Certificate. This provides protection for the authorised medicinal or agrochemical product, but does not extend the term of the basic patent.

The common thread that runs through all of our PTE work is our understanding of how these regulatory issues impact on the commercial strategies for both medicinal and agrochemical products.

If you would like to find out more about our patent term extensions services please start by contacting a member of our team.

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