MPEP 2404
Need or Opportunity to Make a Deposit

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

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2404    Need or Opportunity to Make a Deposit [R-08.2012]

37 C.F.R. 1.802 Need or opportunity to make a deposit.

  • (a) Where an invention is, or relies on, a biological material, the disclosure may include reference to a deposit of such biological material.
  • (b) Biological material need not be deposited unless access to such material is necessary for the satisfaction of the statutory requirements for patentability under 35 U.S.C. 112. If a deposit is necessary, it shall be acceptable if made in accordance with these regulations. Biological material need not be deposited, inter alia, if it is known and readily available to the public or can be made or isolated without undue experimentation. Once deposited in a depository complying with these regulations, a biological material will be considered to be readily available even though some requirement of law or regulation of the United States or of the country in which the depository institution is located permits access to the material only under conditions imposed for safety, public health or similar reasons.
  • (c) The reference to a biological material in a specification disclosure or the actual deposit of such material by an applicant or patent owner does not create any presumption that such material is necessary to satisfy 35 U.S.C. 112 or that deposit in accordance with these regulations is or was required.

37 CFR 1.802(a) permits a deposit of a biological material to be referenced in a patent application where an invention is, or relies on, a biological material. The invention may rely on a biological material for the purposes of making or using the invention, either as a preferred mode or an alternative mode of operation. A reference to a deposit may be included in a specification even though the deposit is not required to satisfy the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 112.

There is no necessary implication or presumption that can or should be made about the need for a deposit simply because reference to a deposit is made in an application disclosure, as noted in paragraph (c). As noted in paragraph (b), biological material need not be deposited unless access to such material is necessary for the satisfaction of the statutory requirements for patentability under 35 U.S.C. 112 and that access is not otherwise available in the absence of a deposit. Where a deposit is required to provide the necessary access, a deposit is acceptable for patent purposes only where it is made in accordance with these regulations. Even where access to biological material is required to satisfy these statutory requirements, a deposit may not be necessary if access sufficient to satisfy these requirements is otherwise available.