Sequence listings under WIPO Standard ST.26
WIPO member states agreed that all sequence listings being part of a patent application submitted at national, regional and international level must be compliant with WIPO Standard ST.26 from January 1, 2022.
If nucleotide and/or amino acid sequences are disclosed in a patent application, the description must contain a sequence listing. A sequence listing includes descriptive information about each sequence and must conform to the requirements of the relevant WIPO Standard. A sequence listing allows for the sequence data of an invention to be searchable within an Intellectual Property (IP) Office and through publicly available databases.
Currently sequence listings are filed compliant with WIPO Standard ST.25. However, ST.25 format is not fully compatible with available database requirements, so data is lost when entered into public databases. IP Offices worldwide interpret and enforce ST. 25 rules differently. Not all sequence types that are common today are covered by ST.25 rules (such as nucleotide analogs, D amino acids, branched sequences) and therefore are not present in searchable databases. Furthermore, ST.25 format is difficult to use for automated validation and data exchange.
The new WIPO Standard ST. 26 provides an answer to these drawbacks. From the transition date of January 1, 2022, all IP Offices will transition simultaneously at the national, regional, and international levels. The filing date will be the reference date that determines if an application falls under ST.25 or ST.26 sequence rules (not the priority date). Standard ST. 26 uses eXtensible Markup Language (XML).
WIPO Sequence is a global software tool that enables patent applicants to prepare amino acid and nucleotide sequence listings compliant with WIPO Standard ST.26, as part of a national or international patent application. WIPO Sequence Validator is another tool component that enables patent offices to verify the compliance of filed sequence listing data with WIPO ST.26.
Feel free to contact us if you have any question about preparing sequence listings under WIPO Standard ST. 26.