Some products that are protected by patents, namely pharmaceuticals and pesticides, need to pass time consuming admission procedures before they can be brought on the market. Patent holders thus lose valuable time to economically profit of their patents.

With supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) the term of such patents can be extended by up to five years by request of the patent holder, depending on the duration of the admission procedure. The protection of the SPC only extends to a specific product comprised in the scope of protection of the underlying basis patent.