New standard for presenting biological patent sequence listings

New standard for presenting biological patent sequence listings

A new World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) standard on patent information and documentation is expected to come into force on 1 July 2022.

About the new standard

Standard ST.26 requires all Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications which include biological sequence listings to be filed electronically in extensible markup language (XML) format. Standard ST.26 replaces the previous Standard ST.25.

Further information about Standard ST.26 is available from the WIPO website:

WIPO has introduced software that helps applicants create sequence listings and generate XML files compliant with Standard ST.26. This software is available for download from the WIPO website:

Standard ST.26 when filing PCT international applications with IPONZ

All international PCT applications with biological sequence listings filed with us from 1 July 2022 must include the sequence listing in the Standard ST.26 format.

We use the ePCT filing system when acting as a receiving office for WIPO. From 1 July 2022, ePCT will require all biological sequence listings to be in Standard ST.26 format.

Standard ST.26 in New Zealand patent applications

We recommend that biological sequence listings provided for patent applications with a filing date from 1 July 2022 be compliant with Standard ST.26. This includes PCT national phase applications, convention applications, and New Zealand standard applications.

  • For PCT national phase applications, the filing date relates to the international filing date, not the date of national phase entry into New Zealand.
  • For divisional patent applications, the filing date relates to the ante-dated filing date, not the submission date. Divisional applications should be filed with the same sequence listing as that of their parent application.

You can convert a sequence listing from another format to Standard ST.26 and include it with your patent application at any time. This will be treated as a voluntary amendment to the complete specification and the normal rules for an amendment will apply. For such an amendment, it is recommended that either specific statements of support are provided for all sequences, or a statement is provided which explicitly advises that the amendment does not introduce new matter.

Standard ST.26 and the IPONZ case management facility

Our case management facility can receive sequence listings in XML, TXT, PDF, DOC or DOCX file types. It is the applicant’s responsibility to maintain the documents provided for a patent application. This includes ensuring that an appropriate sequence listing document is provided and that it meets the relevant standard.

Published on May 5, 2022