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2409    Viability of Deposit [R-08.2012]

37 C.F.R. 1.807   Viability of deposit.

  • (a) A deposit of biological material that is capable of self-replication either directly or indirectly must be viable at the time of deposit and during the term of deposit. Viability may be tested by the depository. The test must conclude only that the deposited material is capable of reproduction. No evidence is necessarily required regarding the ability of the deposited material to perform any function described in the patent application.
  • (b) A viability statement for each deposit of a biological material defined in paragraph (a) of this section not made under the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure must be filed in the application and must contain:
    • (1) The name and address of the depository;
    • (2) The name and address of the depositor;
    • (3) The date of deposit;
    • (4) The identity of the deposit and the accession number given by the depository;
    • (5) The date of the viability test;
    • (6) The procedures used to obtain a sample if the test is not done by the depository; and
    • (7) A statement that the deposit is capable of reproduction.
  • (c) If a viability test indicates that the deposit is not viable upon receipt, or the examiner cannot, for scientific or other valid reasons, accept the statement of viability received from the applicant, the examiner shall proceed as if no deposit has been made. The examiner will accept the conclusion set forth in a viability statement issued by a depository recognized under § 1.803(a).

37 CFR 1.807 requires that the deposit of biological material that is capable of self-replication either directly or indirectly must be viable at the time of deposit and during the term of deposit. This requirement for viability is essentially a requirement that the deposited material is capable of reproduction. For the purpose of making a deposit under these rules, there is no requirement that evidence be provided that the deposited material is capable or has the ability to perform any function described in the patent application. However, as with any other issue of description or enablement, if the examiner has evidence or reason to question the objective statements made in the patent application, applicants may be required to demonstrate that the deposited biological material will perform in the manner described.

Under the Budapest Treaty, there is a requirement that the deposit be tested for viability before it is accepted. Thus, a mere statement by an applicant, an authorized representative of applicant or the assignee that the deposit has been accepted under the Budapest Treaty would satisfy 37 CFR 1.807.

For each deposit which is not made under the Budapest Treaty, a viability statement must be filed in the patent application and contain the information listed in paragraph (b) of this section. Under 37 CFR 1.807(c), the examiner will accept the conclusion set forth in a viability statement which is issued by a depository recognized under 37 CFR 1.803(a). If the viability test indicates that the deposit is not viable upon receipt, or the examiner cannot, for scientific or other valid reasons, accept the statement of viability received from the applicant, the examiner shall so notify the applicant stating the reasons for not accepting the statement and proceed with the examination process as if no deposit had been made.

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Last Modified: 03/27/2014 10:10:34