As known by many in the Intellectual Property industry the WIPO was working on the tool named “WIPO sequence” since 2020. Its first stable release was launched on April 7, 2020, followed by two consecutive releases till the final version i.e. WIPO Standard ST.26 went live on July 01, 2022. As soon as this tool was launched all the PCT countries including India recognized its importance. Consequently, the Indian Patent Office on 17th June 2022 issued a public notice informing all the stakeholders that all Sequence Listings that are part of an international application filed on and after 1st July 2022 under the Patent Cooperation Treaty must be compliant with WIPO Standard ST.26.
To further clarify said notice, another public notice dated August 08, 2022, was issued by the Indian Patent Office, clarifying under which instances the sequence listing as per WIPO Standard ST.26 will be mandatory, not mandatory and/or preferable to file with application.
It was clarified that in all PCT International applications filed on or after 1st July 2022 only WIPO Standard ST.26 generated sequence listing will be accepted.
In the PCT National Phase entry corresponding to PCT International Application with international filing date before 1st July 2022, the Applicant will have to submit sequence listing as per old standard i.e., ST.25.
For Divisional of a PCT National Phase entry corresponding to PCT International Application with international filing date before 1st July 2022, the sequence listings may be in ST.25 or ST.26. The preferred one is ST.26.
In case of Patent of Addition in respect of a PCT National Phase entry corresponding to PCT International Application with international filing date before 1st July 2022, the sequence listings may be in ST.25 or ST.26. The preferred one is ST.26.
From the clarification, it appears that for national applications (i.e., ordinary applications) the Indian Patent Office is accepting both the formats i.e., ST.25 or ST.26, however, preferring that sequence listings are submitted in ST.26 format. The relevant statement is quoted below:
“National applications including Complete after provisional filed on or after 1st July 2022 :ST.25 or ST.26 (Preferably ST.26)”
Similarly, for Divisional and Patent of Addition of a national application wherein the national application is filed before 1st July 2022, the sequence listings in format ST.25 or ST.26 are being accepted.
As regards sequence listing pages fees, it has been stated that the fee shall be calculated from the number of pages of the Sequence listing on a .docx or .pdf file compliant with the requirements of Rule 9 of the Patents Rules 2003 and containing the complete sequences and identifiers.
The notice can be accessed at https://ipindia.gov.in/newsdetail.htm?819/.