Helpful summary by the UK Intellectual Property Office of the changes to how the supplementary protection certificate (SPC) system in the UK will operate in light of Brexit. 

Key points:

  • No action is needed for SPCs that have already been granted.
  • Applications filed before 1 January 2021 will continue unaffected save that, where a UK SPC application was based on a marketing authorisation (MA) granted by the European Medicines Agency, SPC applicants may be asked to provide information on the converted UK authorisations.
  • From 1 January 2021, MAs may cover the UK as a whole, Great Britain (GB) only, or Northern Ireland (NI) only. A UK SPC application can be filed based on any UK MA and its protection will cover the same territory as the MA (i.e. UK / GB / NI), plus any extension granted before the SPC comes into effect, provided the extension is notified to the UK IPO (i) within six months of the additional authorisation; and (ii) before the SPC takes effect. 
  • The duration of a UK SPC will be based on the date of the earliest MA in the UK or EEA. 
  • The six-month paediatric extension will also still be available.