World Intellectual Property Organization

Budapest Notification No. 307
Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure

Communication by the Government of the Republic of Korea Relating to the Acquisition of the Status of International Depositary Authority by the Korean Agricultural Culture Collection (KACC)

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 Republic of Korea, on March 17, 2015, of a letter dated March 11, 2015, relating to the Korean Agricultural Culture Collection (KACC), which states that this Depositary Institution is located on the territory of the Republic of Korea 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(1)(b), the Korean Agricultural Culture Collection (KACC) shall acquire the status of International Depositary Authority under the Budapest Treaty on May 1, 2015.

The text of this communication and its annex follow.

April 21, 2015


Text of the communication by the Republic of Korea relating to the acquisition of the status of international depositary authority by the Korean Agricultural Culture Collection (KACC).

[Original: English]

COMMUNICATION

As commissioner of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), I have the honor of referring you to the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, and informing you that the Republic of Korea nominates the Korean Agricultural Culture Collection (KACC) for the status of International Depositary Authority, in accordance with the provisions in Article 7 of the Budapest Treaty.  I request that the status of International Depositary Authority go into effect on May 1, 2015.

The Republic of Korea offers its assurances that the KACC complies, and will continue to comply, with the requirements specified in Article 6(2) of the Budapest Treaty.


ANNEX

1. Legal status

The KACC is a national culture collection agency for the management of agricultural and foodborne microorganisms in the Republic of Korea.  The KACC was established in 1995 as part of the National Academy of Agricultural Science.  Its missions are (1) the collection and conservation of microbial resources pertaining to agriculture and food, (2) the provision of services related to microbial research societies and (3) research on the taxonomy and preservation of microorganisms.

The KACC is the central culture collection agency authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs of Korea for the maintenance of microbial genetic resources. It is also a patent depositary authorized by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) for the management of domestic patent microorganisms.  According to MOU between the Rural Development Administration and KIPO, the KACC was designated as "the National Integrated Depository of Patent Microorganisms" in 2013.  The KACC is a member of the World Federation for Culture Collections (WFCC) and the Asian Consortium for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Microbial Resources (ACM).  In 2009, KACC acquired an ISA 9001 certificate for adhering to quality standards in handling microorganisms.

The KACC has collected a variety of microorganisms - including bacteria, yeasts, filamentous fungi and mushrooms - with the cooperation of Korean microbial researchers, as well as foreign culture collections such as CBS, DSMZ and NBRC.  The number of microorganisms kept in the KACC now totals more than 18.000 strains from 7.000 species. The third edition of the KACC’s catalogue of microbial resources was published in 2010.  Information of microorganisms is open to the public through RDA Genebank’s website (http://www.genebank.go.kr/eng/microbe/gene_info.jsp).  The KACC provides more than 3.000 culture samples every year to scientific communities both at home and abroad.  The KACC also conducts taxonomic and ecological studies to enhance the quality of microorganisms and better understand microbial diversity in the environment.

In November 2013, the existing collections were grouped as follows:

Type of collection No. of deposits
Bacteria 8.440
Yeasts 190
Molds 6.807
Mushrooms 3.374
Total 18.811


2. Name and address

Korean Agricultural Culture Collection (KACC)
Agricultural Microbiology Division
National Academy of Agricultural Science
Rural Development Administration
166, Nongsaengmyeong-ro, Iseo-myeon
Wanju-gun, Jeollabuk-do 565-851
Republic of Korea

Telephone:  (+82) 63 238 3024
Fax:  (+82) 63 238 3845
E-mail:  kacc@korea.kr
Internet:  http://www.genebank.go.kr

3. Facilities, Equipment and Security

The KACC occupies an area of approximately 848m2.  It has sufficient laboratory space and modern facilities for the cultivation, verification and long-term conservation of microorganisms.  Cultures are routinely maintained via several preservation methods, depending on the kind of microorganism.  Bacteria and sporulating fungi are frozen in liquid nitrogen, deep frozen or lyophilized.  Nonsporulating fungi are stored in mineral oil or water. Each strain in the KACC is preserved through at least two different methods.  The KACC keeps collections in secure rooms and only authorized staff members have access to the collections.  Confidential information in the KACC collection database is protected by encryption and personal passwords.  Information concerning strictly confidential collections is limited to staff members in charge of the collection only.

The KACC infrastructure covers the following areas:

3.1. Preparation area

This area includes the equipment used in lyophilizing microorganisms.  It also includes the equipment used for preparing growth media.

This area has the following types of equipment:

- Clean bench;
- Lyophilization equipment;
- Deep-freeze dryer;
- Refrigerator for media;
- Autoclave.

3.2. Storage rooms

3.2.1. Liquid nitrogen storage room

This area has a LN2 auto-supply tank and eight LN2 tanks regulated by an automated system.  To minimize the space and cost of liquid nitrogen preservation, the KACC preserves bacterial strains in capillary glasses and fungal strains in PP straws.  One liquid nitrogen tank is allocated for the conservation of patent microorganisms.  This room has restricted access.

3.2.2. Lyophilization storage room

This area is for the storage of lyophilized ampoules and is equipped with eight refrigerators.  The accession number and preservation date are labeled on the ampoules which are then placed in plastic bags and preserved in the refrigerator at 4°C.  This room has restricted access.

3.2.3. Deep-freezer room

There are five deep-freezers for the preservation of collections in cryotubes.  The room is maintained at 25°C by an automated system and has restricted access.

3.2.4. Mid-term storage room

This room is for the storage of nonsporulating fungi and mushrooms in mineral oil or water.  This room is maintained at 15°C by an automated system and has restricted access.

3.2.5. Temporary storage room

This room includes several shelves for the temporary preservation of microorganisms.  This room is maintained at 4°C by an automated system and has restricted access.

3.3. Patent-microorganism storage room

This room includes one (1) refrigerator and some cabinets for domestic patent microorganisms and their information. This room is maintained at 25°C by an automated system.  Entry is limited to staff members in charge of patent microorganisms.

3.4. Conservation room for "the National Integrated Depository of Patent Microorganisms"

This room will include four liquid nitrogen tanks, one for each of the four individual depositories for patent microorganisms in Korea.  Entry is limited to staff members in charge of patent microorganisms.

3.5. Other facilities

3.5.1. Incubation rooms

There are four incubation rooms intended for bacteria, anaerobic bacteria, fungi and mushrooms.  These rooms have restricted access.

3.5.2. Laboratories

There are three laboratories for studying bacteria, fungi and mushrooms.

These areas contain the following equipment:

Clean benches, pH meters, electrophoresis equipment, centrifuges, hoods, refrigerators, devices for washing glass and plastic and microscopes.

3.5.3. Offices

There are seven offices used by KACC staff.  One room is for the storage of documents and the furnishing of samples.

4. Staff

The KACC employs a technical staff that is qualified and trained to carry out scientific and administrative tasks required under the Budapest Treaty.  Their work is as follows:

- management and general coordination;
- preservation, sampling and viability monitoring of microorganisms;
- scientific study:  isolation, identification, classification and characterization of bacteria, fungi and mushrooms;
- administrative work relating to the deposit and distribution of microorganisms, etc.;
- maintenance of facilities and management of laboratory staff.

5. Type of organisms that may be accepted for deposit

The KACC will accept bacteria (non-pathogenic including actinomycetes), fungi (non-pathogenic), yeasts (non-pathogenic), mushroom, plasmids in hosts, plant viruses, bacteriophages and plant seeds.

KACC accepts only those organisms belonging to risk groups 1 or 2, in accordance with Directive 2000/54/EC on the protection of workers from job risks related to exposure to biological agents.

KACC reserves the right to refuse for deposit any material which in its view represents an unacceptable hazard or which it cannot process.

6. Official languages

The official languages of the KACC are Korean and English.

7. Requirements and Procedures

In accordance with Rule 6.3(a) of the Regulations of the Budapest Treaty, the KACC requires the following before it will accept microorganisms for deposit:

- that the deposit of a microorganism be in appropriate form and in a quantity that enables the KACC to fulfill its obligations under the Regulations;
- that the form established by the KACC and duly completed by the depositor for the purposes of the administrative procedure be furnished;
- that the written statement referred to in Rule 6.1.(a) or 6.2.(a) be properly completed in English or Korean;
- that the fee for storage referred to in Rule 12.1(a)(i) be paid;
- that the depositors obtain all necessary permits for the transportation of the deposit.

In accordance with the Regulations of the Budapest Treaty, the KACC will:

- check each deposit for viability and morphology and store it;
- issue receipts, viability statements and other official notifications as required;
- comply with the prescribed secrecy requirements in Rule 9.2;
- furnish samples under the conditions of and in conformity with the prescribed procedures in an expeditious and proper manner.

8. Fee Schedule

Services KRW
1) Deposit (including initial viability check, preservation and storage for 30 years):  
  - original deposit 800,000
  - new deposit 70,000
2) Furnishing of a sample 100,000
3) Issuance of a viability statement:  
  - where a viability test is requested 70,000
  - on the basis of the most recent viability test 10,000
4) Issuance of an attestation under Rule 8.2 10,000
5) Communication of information under Rule 7.6 10,000


Fees do not include transport costs or bank fees.

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