NCIMB stores patent deposits of bacteria, fungi (including yeasts), bacteriophages, plasmids, plant seeds and plant cell tissue cutures.
Patents offer assignees exclusive rights to their inventions in exchange for detailed disclosure of the invention. In the case of inventions that are, or require the use of biological material, this involves the deposit of the biological material in a recognised institution.
NCIMB is a recognised institution for patenting purposes and holds the status of International Depositary Authority (IDA) under the Budapest Treaty:
Bacteria, fungi (including yeasts), bacteriophages and plasmids (either cloned into a bacterial host or as purified DNA preparations), including recombinants, provided that:
Orthodox plant seeds, i.e. those that can be dried to a low moisture content and stored at temperatures lower than -20 °C without damage.
Plant cell tissue cultures: these can be deposited as active cultures, e.g. shoot tips and callous tissue, or as frozen cultures.
Your patent agent will tell you the latest date by which a deposit must be made.
To make a patent deposit with NCIMB you need to complete our application form (QF57), along with the relevant accession form (QF79 A, B or C) for the type of material you are depositing. These forms must be completed and returned to us before, or at the same time as the biological material is deposited.
Additional seed deposits:
We will contact you or your patent agent as soon as we receive your deposit, with an NCIMB accession number and a provisional date of deposit. Please note this provisional notification is not evidence that you have made a valid deposit. Results of viability testing are required before official notification can be made.
If your biological material proves to be non-viable, we will inform you immediately so that you can send a replacement as soon as possible. This replacement will have a new date of deposit, and if it is a Budapest Treaty deposit, a new accession number.
When we have tested the viability of your deposit, you and/or your patent agent will be sent an official receipt and viability statement (Budapest Treaty forms BP4 and BP9), which state the accession number, date of deposit and whether your biological material was found to be viable.
These are important documents that you may be requested to produce for examination by a patent office. You will also need them if you have to make a new deposit of the same biological material at a later date.
We may ask you to check a culture for authenticity, and to inform us of the result. If we do not hear from you within three months, we assume you are satisfied with the cultures. Depositor checks may also be carried out at the request of the depositor.
NCIMB keeps all information about patent deposits confidential, and only releases material on the instruction of the depositor or in accordance with the requirements of the patenting process.
Budapest Treaty deposits
Every time a sample of your biological material is released, you will be officially notified of the name and address of the recipient. Biological material is made available to those entitled to receive them under Rule 11 of the Treaty, i.e.:
Other patent deposits
Biological material deposited outside of the Budapest Treaty is released on your authorisation or on the authorisation of the patent offices that you specify. Some patent offices, notably in the USA and Germany, may require you to obtain a declaration from us as to the permanence and availability of non-Budapest Treaty deposits. We supply these for a small charge. Samples will be made available according to the terms of those declarations.
Biological material deposited for patenting purposes under the Budapest Treaty is distributed strictly in accordance with the regulations set out in the Treaty. All International Depository Authorities must adhere to these regulations. Full details are available on the World International Patent Office website www.wipo.int
If you would like to obtain a sample of material deposited with NCIMB for patenting purposes, you must fulfil one of the following:
i) Have written authorisation from the depositor (Rule 11.2).
ii) Have confirmation (i.e. certification) from the relevant patent office that you are legally entitled to receive it. Forms for this purpose are available from patent office websites e.g. EPO forms 1140 and 1141. On completion of these, they must be returned to the relevant patent office for authorisation and not sent to NCIMB. NCIMB will receive authorised copies from the Patent Office (Rule 11.3a).
iii) In cases where certification is not required i.e. patents have been granted, then irrefutable evidence (copies of the relevant patents) must be supplied with the request (Rule 11.3b).
Once a sample has been released to you, the depositor is automatically notified of the fact.
VAT is payable where appropriate
Bacteria, yeasts, plasmids, bacteriophages, seeds
Frozen plant cell tissue cultures
Active plant cell tissue cultures
Phage or cosmid DNA
Packaging for transformation
£60 per deposit
£200 per deposit
Additional viability statements
£100 per statement
Issue of samples of deposited material to depositor
Issue of samples of deposited to third parties
Tel: +44(0)1224 711100
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