A Court of Appeal decision last month will give agrochemical companies greater protection in relation to commercially sensitive field monitoring data which would otherwise allow competitors to bring their products to market without first having to conduct their own such studies.
The case - Chiltern Farm Chemicals Ltd -v- Health and Safety Executive – relates to the re-authorisation of Chiltern’s slug pellets used by farmers and gardeners and data collected in field monitoring studies involving the tagging of birds.
The Court of Appeal was asked to determine what constitutes a ‘vertebrate study’ under the relevant EU legislation, said Chiltern’s lawyers Boodle Hatfield. The decision provides agrochemical companies with the confidence that the costs they incur in generating specific data that support the authorisation and re-authorisation of their products belong to them and are protected.
Philip Tavener, director of Chiltern, said: “This case is important to us and our business. These studies are time consuming and costly, and the distinction between what constitutes a vertebrate study or not has considerable commercial implications.
“The data we generate are commercially sensitive and it is right and fair that in non-vertebrate studies we are allowed to properly negotiate our competitors’ access to those data.”