MPEP 1823.02
Nucleotide and/or Amino Acid Sequence Listings, and Tables Related to Sequence Listings

This is the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 08.2017, Last Revised in January 2018

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1823.02    Nucleotide and/or Amino Acid Sequence Listings, and Tables Related to Sequence Listings [R-07.2015]

PCT Rule 5

The Description

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5.2 Nucleotide and/or Amino Acid Sequence Disclosure

  • (a) Where the international application contains disclosure of one or more nucleotide and/or amino acid sequences, the description shall contain a sequence listing complying with the standard prescribed by the Administrative Instructions and presented as a separate part of the description in accordance with that standard.
  • (b) Where the sequence listing part of the description contains any free text as defined in the standard provided for in the Administrative Instructions, that free text shall also appear in the main part of the description in the language thereof.

PCT Rule 13ter

Nucleotide and/or Amino Acid Sequence Listings

13 ter.1 Procedure Before the International Searching Authority

  • (a) Where the international application contains disclosure of one or more nucleotide and/or amino acid sequences, the International Searching Authority may invite the applicant to furnish to it, for the purposes of the international search, a sequence listing in electronic form complying with the standard provided for in the Administrative Instructions, unless such listing in electronic form is already available to it in a form and manner acceptable to it, and to pay to it, where applicable, the late furnishing fee referred to paragraph (c), within a time limit fixed in the invitation:
  • (b) Where at least part of the international application is filed on paper and the International Searching Authority finds that the description does not comply with Rule 5.2(a), it may invite the applicant to furnish, for the purposes of the international search, a sequence listing in paper form complying with the standard provided for in the Administrative Instructions, unless such listing in paper form is already available to it in a form and manner acceptable to it, whether or not the furnishing of a sequence listing in electronic form is invited under paragraph (a), and to pay, where applicable, the late furnishing fee referred to in paragraph (c), within a time limit fixed in the invitation.
  • (c) The furnishing of a sequence listing in response to an invitation under paragraph (a) or (b) may be subjected by the International Searching Authority to the payment to it, for its own benefit, of a late furnishing fee whose amount shall be determined by the International Searching Authority but shall not exceed 25% of the international filing fee referred to in item 1 of the Schedule of Fees, not taking into account any fee for each sheet of the international application in excess of 30 sheets, provided that a late furnishing fee may be required under either paragraph (a) or (b) but not both.
  • (d) If the applicant does not, within the time limit fixed in the invitation under paragraph (a) or (b), furnish the required sequence listing and pay any required late furnishing fee, the International Searching Authority shall only be required to search the international application to the extent that a meaningful search can be carried out without the sequence listing.
  • (e) Any sequence listing not contained in the international application as filed, whether furnished in response to an invitation under paragraph (a) or (b) or otherwise, shall not form part of the international application, but this paragraph shall not prevent the applicant from amending the description in relation to a sequence listing pursuant to Article 34(2)(b).
  • (f) Where the International Searching Authority finds that the description does not comply with Rule 5.2(b), it shall invite the applicant to submit the required correction. Rule 26.4 shall apply mutatis mutandis to any correction offered by the applicant. The International Searching Authority shall transmit the correction to the receiving Office and to the International Bureau.

13 ter.2  Procedure Before the International Preliminary Examining Authority

Rule 13ter.1 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the procedure before the International Preliminary Examining Authority.

13ter.3  Sequence Listing for Designated Office

No designated Office shall require the applicant to furnish to it a sequence listing other than a sequence listing complying with the standard provided for in the Administrative Instructions.

PCT Administrative Instructions Section 208

Sequence Listings

Any sequence listing whether on paper or in electronic form, whether forming part of the international application or not forming part of the international application, shall comply with Annex C.

I.    REQUIREMENTS FOR SEQUENCE LISTINGS

Where an international application discloses one or more nucleotide and/or amino acid sequences, the description must contain a sequence listing complying with the standard specified in the Administrative Instructions. The standard is set forth in detail in Annex C - Standard for the Presentation of Nucleotide and Amino Acid Sequence Listings in International Patent Applications Under the PCT. The standard allows the applicant to draw up a single sequence listing which is acceptable to all receiving Offices, International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities for the purposes of the international phase, and to all designated and elected Offices for the purposes of the national phase. The International Searching Authority and the International Preliminary Examining Authority may, in some cases, invite the applicant to furnish a listing complying with that standard. The applicant may also be invited to furnish a listing in an electronic form (text) provided for in the PCT Administrative Instructions. It is advisable for the applicant to submit a listing of the sequence in electronic form (text), if such a listing is required by the competent International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority, together with the international application rather than to wait for an invitation by the International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority.

The electronic form (text) is not mandatory in international applications to be searched by the United States International Searching Authority or examined by the United States International Preliminary Examining Authority. However, if an electronic form (text) of a sequence listing is not provided, a search or examination will be performed only to the extent possible in the absence of the electronic form (text). The U.S. sequence rules (37 CFR 1.821 - 1.825 ) and the PCT sequence requirements are substantively consistent. In this regard, full compliance with the requirements of the U.S. rules will generally ensure compliance with the applicable PCT requirements. However, the requirements of 37 CFR 1.821 through 37 CFR 1.825 are less stringent than the requirements of WIPO Standard ST.25. See MPEP § 2422, subsection II, MPEP § 2422.03(a), subsection IV, and MPEP § 2422.07 for information specific to filing sequence listings in international applications.

For a detailed discussion of the U.S. sequence rules, see MPEP §§ 2420 - 2429.

The calculation of the international filing fee for an international application (PCT), including a sequence listing, filed via EFS-Web is determined based on the type of sequence listing file. A sequence listing filed in an ASCII text file will not be included in the sheet count of the international application (PCT). A sequence listing filed in a PDF file will be included in the sheet count of the international application (PCT). Therefore, the sheet count for an EFS-Web filed international application (PCT) containing both a PDF file and a text file sequence listing will be calculated to include the number of sheets of the PDF sequence listing.

II.    TABLES RELATED TO SEQUENCE LISTINGS

Tables related to a sequence listing must be an integral part of the description of the international application (PCT), and must not be included in the sequence listing part or the drawing part. Such tables will be taken into account when calculating the application sheet count, and excess sheet fees may be required. When applicant submits tables related to a sequence listing in an international application (PCT) via EFS-Web, the tables must be in a PDF file. If applicant submits tables related to a sequence listing in a text file, such tables will not be accepted as part of the international application (PCT). For more information, see Sequence Listings and Tables Related Thereto in International Applications Filed in the United States Receiving Office, 1344 OG 50 (July 7, 2009). If applicant submits tables related to a sequence listing in a text file, such tables will not be accepted as part of the international application (PCT).