World Intellectual Property Organization

Budapest Notification No. 293
Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure

Communication of the United States of America Relating to the Acquisition of the Status of International Depositary Authority by the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA)

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) presents his compliments to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and has the honor to notify the receipt from the Government of the United States of America, on March 28, 2013, of a written communication dated March 25, 2013, relating to the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA), which states that this Depositary Institution is located on the territory of the United States of America and includes a Declaration of Assurances to the effect that the Institution complies and will continue to comply with the requirements concerning the acquisition of the status of International Depositary Authority specified in Article 6(2) of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, done at Budapest on April 28, 1977, and amended on September 26, 1980.

Pursuant to Article 7(2)(b), the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) shall acquire the status of International Depositary Authority under the Budapest Treaty on April 26, 2013, that is, on the day of publication of this notification.

April 26, 2013


Text of the communication of the Government of the United States of America dated March 25, 2013, relating to the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA)

[Original: English]

COMMUNICATION

As provided in Article 7 of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, the United States Government proposes as an International Depository Authority the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA), housed at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.  We offer our assurances that this Center can and will meet every requirement of the Treaty and Rules thereunder for International Depositary Authorities.  Accordingly, we request that you, as soon as possible, take the steps necessary to confer this status on the Provasoli-Guillard National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.

The NCMA is located in the United States at 60 Bigelow Drive, East Boothbay, Maine 04544.  It has been in continuous existence since 1981.  Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, founded in 1974, is a private, non-profit research institution.  It is a globally recognized leader in basic ocean research.  The NCMA is an internationally recognized service center of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.  The NCMA serves as a central repository to receive, maintain and distribute living cultures of marine microalgae (phytoplankton), bacteria and viruses.  It houses a broad diversity of species from ocean environments around the world.  The NCMA has been a service center located at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences since 1981, and during the past 31 years, the NCMA has fostered growth and development of the collection, expanding to contain approximately 2,700 phytoplankton strains.  In Section 2208 of Public Law 102-587, the Center was recognized by the United States Congress as having the largest collection of phytoplankton in the world and designated a national center and facility.

In 1985, the NCMA was changed from a "Collection" to a "Center", reflecting a broader mission for the facility. Many academic and industry collaborations at Bigelow Laboratory stem from the presence of this world-renowned facility.  Bigelow is primarily funded by competitively reviewed Federal research grants, having attracted over $100 million in Federal grants for research activities.  Bigelow Laboratory is governed by a board of trustees whose members include scholars and scientists, representatives of business and industry, and community leaders.

Bigelow Laboratory employs a research staff of 15 scientists from around the world and a full-time employee base of 80.  The NCMA currently has one full-time director, five full-time curators and one full-time administrative assistant.  Business, finance, personnel, and legal operations are conducted through the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.  The NCMA’s mission is to serve as a central bioresource center/depository whose core activity is to receive, maintain and distribute living cultures of marine and freshwater algae, bacteria and viruses; to provide technical expertise and services; and to provide educational resources for culture isolation and curation to scientists, educators, biomedical researchers, and businesses worldwide.  Deposit of microorganisms is available to any depositor under the same conditions.  Depositors will receive a receipt of deposition summarizing all metadata associated with the strain and will be assigned a unique identifying number.

I am confident that NCMA will comply, with respect to deposited microorganisms, with the requirement of secrecy, as prescribed in the regulations.  As an existing culture collection, in preparation for acquisition of status under the treaty, NCMA has already set up individualized contracts for collections that are curated with the same rigor as others, except they are not made publicly available or only made publicly available to pre-determined individuals at the strain owner’s request.  NCMA will furnish samples of any deposited microorganisms, under the conditions and in conformity with the procedure prescribed in the regulations.  Depending on the strain, all organisms are maintained as perpetually cultured strains and/or cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen vapor and/or lyophilized.

The NCMA will accept for deposit certain microorganisms, examine their viability, and store them as prescribed in the Regulations.  The institution intends to accept for deposit only certain kinds of organisms, specifically: any algae (including single-celled microalgae and multicellular algae), eukaryotic protists, bacteria, archaea, or viruses from any aquatic environments (including freshwater, brackish, marine, and hyper-saline).

The amount of fees to be charged by the institution upon acquiring status as an International Depositary Authority is as follows:

    Storage Fee:  

      Frozen or lyophilized - US$ 3,000.00 for 30 years
      Perpetual culturing - US$ 10,000.00 for 30 years

    Viability Statement Fee:  US$ 500.00

    Furnishing of Microorganisms Sample Fee:  US$ 200.00

Please be advised that the official language of the institution is English.  As needed, correspondence in other languages can be accommodated.

We request that recognition be conferred as from the date of publication of this communication.

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