ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

EU court ruling shortens patent extensions

April 23, 2005 1:02 AM UTC

The European Court of Justice issued a ruling that shortens the period by which an EU patent may be extended for a drug that is approved in Switzerland before being approved in the EU. Novartis (NVS; SWX:NOVN) and Millennium (MLNM) argued that patents covering certain of their products first approved in Switzerland should be extended from the date the drugs were approved in the EU, not from the date of Swiss approval, because Switzerland does not belong to the European Economic Area (EEA). The court ruled that the extensions run from the time of Swiss approval, because Swiss drug approvals are automatically recognized by Liechtenstein, which does belong to the EEA. ...