Supplementary protection certificates

extending the term of protection for medicinal and plant protection products


Official authorisation (Swissmedic, Federal Veterinary Office and Federal Office for Agriculture) must be obtained for medicinal products and plant protection products before the patented invention may be used commercially. As this authorisation procedure can sometimes last up to ten years and the patent protection has already been initiated during this period, a supplementary protection certificate (SPC) can be requested. The term of protection of the SPC begins as soon as the maximum term of protection (20 years) for the patent protection for the active ingredient expires.
And it extends the protection for up to five years.


For the grant of a supplementary protection certificate, the following criteria must be fulfilled:

  • SPCs can be granted solely upon the basis of a valid patent and official authorisation.

  • An SPC must be requested within six months from

    • the first official authorisation in Switzerland or
    • the grant of the Swiss patent.

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