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Law & practice

Official Journal June 2022

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Citation: OJ EPO 2022, A60
Online publication date: 30.6.2022

Notice from the European Patent Office dated 27 May 2022 concerning the filing of sequence listings in the international (PCT) procedure before the EPO as receiving Office

1. This notice complements the information previously published in the notice from the EPO dated 9 December 2021 concerning the filing of sequence listings.[ 1 ] It provides some additional information on the procedure before the EPO as receiving Office applicable under the PCT from 1 July 2022 in the case of non-compliance with WIPO Standard ST.26 of a sequence listing disclosing nucleotide and/or amino acid sequences.

2. As announced in the notice from the EPO dated 9 December 2021, international applications filed on or after 1 July 2022 disclosing nucleotide and/or amino acid sequences must include a sequence listing part of the description complying with WIPO Standard ST.26 (Rule 5.2 PCT).

3. Where the international application as filed contains an electronic file appearing to be a sequence listing in a file format compliant with WIPO Standard ST.26, the EPO will not take into account the material contained in such an electronic file for the calculation of the international filing fee (Administrative Instructions under the PCT, section 707 (a-bis)).

4. Where the EPO as receiving Office finds that a separate electronic file disclosing sequences appears to be in a format other than WIPO Standard ST.26 XML format, it will not consider that file to be part of the international application. Instead, the EPO as receiving Office will convert the file into the format of the main part of the description (Administrative Instructions under the PCT, Annex C, paragraph 26) and invite the applicant to confirm whether the content of that converted file is intended to form part of the description and to pay any corresponding page fee (Form PCT/RO/132) within a time limit of one month of the date of the invitation (Administrative Instructions under the PCT, Annex C, paragraph 26). Any payment received by the receiving Office within the time limit mentioned above will be considered as confirmation that the content of the converted file is to be part of the international application.

5. The content of the converted file will not be considered part of the international application if the applicant so indicates or if the applicant fails, within the time limit mentioned in paragraph 4, to pay the applicable fees. It will therefore not be part of the priority document prepared by the EPO as receiving Office pursuant to Rule 17.1(b) PCT.