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Patent term extension for medicinal products and plant protection rights

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Granted patents generally expire 20 years from the filing date of the patent application.

However, in certain countries there are rules that allow for an extension of the patent term by up to 5 years for patents covering pharmaceutical products and plant protection products. This is done as compensation for the long time spent with clinical trials necessary to get the product approved and the processing of the application for marketing authorization of the product.

It is very important to carefully examine the rules in each country that allows for patent term extension as they typically differ in terms of requirements to obtain the extension. Being aware of the possibility of patent term extensions potentially allows a patent proprietor to obtain valuable extra time for the exclusive right to the technology protected by the patent.

The following countries and regions offer patent term extension in some form: