Synthon B.V. v. Merz Pharma GmbH & Co KG, Opinion of A-G Mengozzi, 31 March 2011, Case C-195/09
"On the basis of all of the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court should give the following answers to the questions submitted by the High Court of Justice (Chancery Division):
'Council Regulation (EEC) No 1768/92 of 18 June 1992 concerning the creation of a supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products, must be interpreted, pursuant to Article 2 thereof, as meaning that products placed on the market as medicinal products in Community territory before obtaining a marketing authorisation in accordance with Council Directive 65/65/EEC on the approximation of the provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action relating to proprietary medicinal products or with Council Directive 81/851/EEC of 28 September 1981 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to veterinary medicinal products do not fall within the scope of the regulation.
Supplementary protection certificates granted for such products must be deemed to be invalid.’
Should the Court not adopt that solution, I propose that it should give the following answers to the first and second questions submitted by the High Court of Justice (Chancery Division):
‘A marketing authorisation granted by the authorities of a Member State in accordance with the national provisions transposing Directive 65/65 may constitute the first marketing authorisation in the Community for the purpose of Articles 13 and 19 of Regulation No 1768/92, even when the administrative procedure for which the directive provides has not been implemented or has not been properly implemented, particularly as regards the carrying out of the toxicological and pharmacological tests and the clinical trials required by the directive.
A marketing authorisation granted by the competent authorities of a Member State, under the transitional arrangements provided for by Article 24 of Directive 65/65, in conjunction with Article 39 of Second Council Directive 75/319/EEC of 20 May 1975 on the approximation of provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action relating to proprietary medicinal products, and as amended by Article 37 of that directive, may also constitute the first marketing authorisation of the product in the Community, on the basis of a marketing authorisation granted before the transposition of Directive 65/65 into the legal order of that Member State.
For the purposes of the application of Articles 13 and 19 of Regulation No 1768/92, a marketing authorisation granted for a use of the product as a medicinal product different from the use or uses protected by the patent constituting the basic patent under Article 1(c) of that regulation may also be regarded as the first marketing authorisation in the Community’."
Read the Opinion (in English) here.