The State Intellectual Property Office has issued the revised Measures for the Deposit of Biological Materials for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (the "Measures"), as of March 1, 2015.
The revision of the Measures has been made based on the provisions of current patent law and the enforcement rules thereof, and has been considered to combine with the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure. The main content of the revision focuses on the provision of the right and responsibility among SIPO, the depositary authority and the applicant, in the procedure of providing biological material samples and depositing biological material. Such a provision includes the term of the confidential liability of the depositary authority, the circumstances of the deposit, which the depositary authority may refuse, the publication of other information related to the deposit of a biological material, and a report to the SIPO for records. The revision also supplements the crucial procedural standards in the Measures such as the depositary authority furnishing a sample of the biological material to any eligible requestor or entity, and the depositary authority shall be entitled to the disposal of the biological material if the patent applicant or patent right owner does not retrieve the biological material deposited.
The Measures clarify that the term of deposit of biological materials used for patent procedures shall be at least 30 years, and shall be calculated from the date when the biological materials are received by a depositary authority. When a depositary authority receives a request for providing samples of biological materials before the term of deposit expires, the biological materials shall be preserved for at least another five years from the date of the request. During the term of deposit, the depositary authority shall take all the necessary measures to keep the preserved biological materials alive and free of contamination. Additionally, the Measures require that, prior to the publication of the patent application involving preserved biological materials, the depositary authority concerned is liable for keeping the preserved biological materials and the related information confidential.
After the Measures was put effect on March 1, 2015, the Regulations for the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure of the China General Microbiological Culture Collection Center, and the Regulations for the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure of the China Center for Typical Culture Collection have both been abolished.