World Intellectual Property Organization


September 2014 | No. 09/2014


Budapest Treaty

General information about the Budapest Treaty

The Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, a treaty administered by WIPO, plays an important role in the field of biotechnological inventions. Disclosure of an invention is an important requirement for the granting of a patent. Where an invention involves a microorganism or other biological material (hereinafter referred to as “microorganisms”), or the use of it, which is not available to the public, a mere description of it may not be sufficient for disclosure. Therefore, in certain countries, it is also necessary to deposit, with a specialized institution, a sample of the microorganism.

In order to avoid having to deposit a microorganism in each country in which patent protection is sought, the Budapest Treaty provides that a deposit with any International Depositary Authority (IDA) (and providing information about the deposit in the PCT application) would be sufficient for the purposes of patent procedures before national patent Offices of all Contracting States, as well as before any regional patent Office that recognizes the effects of the Treaty. An IDA is a scientific institution – typically a “culture collection” – capable of storing microorganisms.

Further details about the Budapest Treaty are available at:

Statistics on the Budapest Treaty

In 2013, there were a total of 79 Contracting States of the Budapest Treaty, in which 42 IDAs were located. During that year, Qatar became party to the Treaty and the Provasoli Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA), located in the United States of America, obtained the status of IDA.

The statistics on deposits and samples furnished under the Budapest Treaty in 2013, which are based on replies received from 38 IDAs, are now available at:

Some of the highlights of the 2013 statistics are given below.

Overall deposits in 2013 (4,822) increased by 4% compared to 2012 (4,636), although samples furnished to third parties (2,096) were slightly down (-3%). The number of deposits filed with the top six IDAs in 2013 were as follows (the percentage change compared to 2012 is shown in parentheses):

1. China General Microbiological Culture Collection
    Center (CGMCC) (CN)                                                                                       1,626        (+17%)

2. China Center for Type Culture Collection
    (CCTCC) (CN)                                                                                                        967       (+24%)

3. American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) (US)                                           785       (-13.5%)

4. Korean Collection for Type Cultures (KCTC) (KR)                                       193          (-20%)

5. National Collections of Industrial, Food and Marine
    Bacteria (NCIMB) (GB)                                                                                        179         (+54%)

6. Leibniz-Institut DSMZ – Deutsche Sammlung von
    Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH (DSMZ) (DE)                            177          (-49%)

The total number of deposits made between the year in which the Budapest Treaty became operational (1981) and the end of 2013 amounts to 87,074, the top four being as follows:

1. American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) (US)                                      29,476

2. International Patent Organism Depositary (IPOD),
    National Institute of Technology and
    Evaluation (NITE) (JP)                                                                                  10,165

3. China General Microbiological Culture Collection
    Center (CGMCC) (CN)                                                                                     8,737

4. Leibniz-Institut DSMZ – Deutsche Sammlung von
     Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH (DSMZ) (DE)                     7,603

It is interesting to note that deposits in China and the United States of America represented 72% (53.7% and 18.3%, respectively) of the deposits in 2013, and 55% (17% and 38%, respectively) of the overall total.


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