Budapest Notification No. 321
Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure

Communication by the Government of the Swiss Confederation Relating to the Acquisition of the Status of International Depositary Authority by the Culture Collection of Switzerland AG (CCOS)

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 Swiss Confederation, on December 1, 2016, of a written communication dated November 30, 2016, relating to the Culture Collection of Switzerland AG (CCOS), which states that this Depositary Institution is located on the territory of the Swiss Confederation 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 Culture Collection of Switzerland AG (CCOS) shall acquire the status of International Depositary Authority under the Budapest Treaty on January 16, 2017.

January 16, 2017


Text of the communication by the Swiss Confederation relating to the acquisition of the status of international depositary authority by the Culture Collection of Switzerland AG (CCOS)

[Original: French]

COMMUNICATION

On behalf of the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, the organization within the federal administration responsible for intellectual property matters, and pursuant to Article 7 of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (hereinafter "the Treaty"), I have the honor to attach hereto the application of Culture Collection Switzerland (hereinafter "CCOS") to be designated as an International Depositary Authority.

Pursuant to Article 7 of the Treaty, the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property declares its assurances that CCOS complies and will continue to comply with the requirements specified in Article 6(2) of the Treaty.

1. Name and address

Culture Collection of Switzerland AG (CCOS)
Einsiedlerstrasse 34
8820 Waedenswil
Switzerland

Telephone: +41 44 552 24 28
Facsimile: +41 44 552 24 27
Internet: www.ccos.ch

2. Legal status

CCOS is a limited liability company (S.A.) under Swiss law founded in 2010 by the registration in the trade register of the canton of Zurich.  It was created by employees of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology of the Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology of the University of Applied Sciences of Zurich (ZHAW).

CCOS is the national collection of microorganisms in Switzerland.  It preserves biological material and makes it available to the public.  It therefore performs the demanding role of achieving microbial biodiversity and of gaining an overall picture of the function of these microbial strains.  CCOS also offers secure storage bank services for microbial strains, animal and human cellular cultures and other samples of biological origin.

CCOS was established through a project of the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) under number 9922.1 PFLS-LS.  This project lasted from April 2009 to December 2011.  Before the CTI project, the collection of microorganisms was supported by a project of the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences (SATW).  Within the framework of the CTI project, it worked with the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) in the fields of biosecurity and biodiversity (contract no. 08.0089.PJ/I355-2113).

CCOS is a member of the World Federation of Culture Collections (WFCC), under member number WDCM 944, and a member of the European Culture Collections Organization (ECCO) and of the Swiss Biotech Association (SBA).

3. Facilities

In accordance with Article 6(2)(ii) of the Treaty, CCOS has the facilities necessary to perform its scientific and administrative tasks under the Treaty.

In particular, consistent with Rule 2.2 of the Regulations, the facilities of CCOS enable it to store the deposited microorganisms in a manner which ensures that they are kept viable and uncontaminated.  For the storage of microorganisms, the CCOS has instituted sufficient safety measures to reduce to a minimum the risk of loss of the deposited microorganisms.

CCOS is a legally independent company, founded as a spin-off of ZHAW.  Since July 2014, it has leased buildings comprising two laboratories and offices, with a total area of 120 square meters, at Einsiedlerstrasse 34, Wädenswil.  It also uses a warehouse shared with ZHAW.

CCOS is connected to the Grow Company (an organization of creators in Wädenswil http://www.grow-waedenswil.ch/start) and, since 2015, has been actively involved with the new Grow association.  Grow offers its members collaboration with ZHAW (Department N) and access to ZHAW’s facilities.

Essential laboratory equipment and know-how are guaranteed for the culture of aerobic, microaerophilic, anaerobic and phototrophic microorganisms.

Equipment for cryopreservation, freeze-drying and storage is also available.  All storage cupboards (-4°C, -20°C, -80°C and -196°C) are equipped with an EviSense alarm system and are continuously monitored for temperature.

Cells can be cultured in the laboratories of ZHAW.

On August 1, 2012, CCOS received ISO 9001 certification from Société Générale de Surveillance SA (SGS) for the "marketing of biological material and for services related to these materials" and on August 1, 2015, this certification was renewed.  ZHAW is also ISO 9001 certified.

4. Scientific level

CCOS manages a public collection of microbial strains.  So far, the collection contains more than 2,500 strains, of which more than 1,000 have been taxonomically identified.  The strains of the public collection are organized into clinical isolates, with particular emphasis on those carrying antibiotic resistance genes, and in environmental isolates such as the Damma glacier in the Uri Alps and samples of various Swiss soils and lakes.  These strains were deposited by donors from public institutes like the Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), the Federal Polytechnic of Zurich (ETH Zurich), the universities of Bern, Lausanne and Zurich, and the Cantonal Institute of Microbiology of Bellinzona.  Within the framework of these deposits, there was collaboration with the corresponding technology transfer sites, such as those of ETH Zurich and Unitectra of Berne.

CCOS has launched a "Call for Deposit" in collaboration with FOEN, by which researchers in Switzerland are contacted for deposit of cultures of isolates in the public strain bank.

The type strain of a newly described microbial species must be deposited in two different and recognized deposit banks.  Authors in Switzerland can now officially deposit their strains in the public bank of CCOS, as is the case, for example, with the new species Streptococcus tigurinus of the Department of Medical Microbiology of the University of Zurich (under reference no. CCOS 600) or of the new Glaciimonas alpina (CCOS 761) from the alpine glaciers, thanks to the contribution of ZHAW, the WSL and the University of Innsbruck.

In addition to the public collection, CCOS offers confidential deposits of biological material.  The biological material remains the property of the depositor and does not appear in the CCOS catalogue.  For this storage, a contract is signed between the depositor and CCOS, which has developed separate lockable compartments for this purpose.  So far, universities and pharmaceutical, food and biotechnology companies in Switzerland have deposited with the CCOS more than 8,000 tubes (bacteria, yeasts, filamentous mushrooms, cyanobacteria cell cultures, nematodes and DNA) at 4°C in a lyophilized form, at -80°C and -196°C.  For certain customers, an additional copy of the cultures was made and stored, in accordance with their wishes.  Where necessary, these copies may be recovered by the customers and will be dispatched to them by the CCOS.

Certain CCOS cultures are characterized more thoroughly within the framework of collaboration between the University of Zurich and ZHAW (genome sequencing and metabolization of pollutants).  The corresponding work gives rise to publications (e.g., "Complete genome sequence of the cyanogenic phosphate-solubilizing Pseudomonas sp. strain CCOS 191, a close relative of Pseudomonas mosseli", Genome Announcements, 2015. 3: e00616-15).

The CCOS is increasingly serving as a platform for work in taxonomy.  As it becomes better known, collaboration with other Swiss and foreign institutions is enhanced.

In addition to the public collection and the bank for the confidential deposit of strains and cultures, the CCOS has become a resource center for biological material in Switzerland.

5. Staff

In accordance with article 6(2)(ii) of the Treaty, the CCOS has the staff necessary to perform its scientific and administrative tasks under the Treaty.

Since February 1, 2013, the CCOS has been using its profits to fund a full-time position (100%) for general laboratory work and since January 1, 2015, a full-time position as director of the company.  Given the increased need for laboratory work, additional staff will be employed.  The microbiology and molecular biology group of the Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology of Department N of the ZHAW provide sustainable support to the CCOS, particularly in the area of human resources for scientific tasks.  The CCOS was cited as an "internal flagship project" of the Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology and is of strategic importance to the Institute, given that it performs indispensable tasks in the field of biodiversity.  Thanks to its staff, the support of ZHAW and FOEN and collaboration with the German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures (DSMZ) GMBH, CCOS is able to fully perform the functions of an international depositary bank.

6. Types of microorganisms accepted for deposit

In accordance with Article 6(2)(v) of the Treaty and Rule (3)(b)(iii) of the Regulations, CCOS has set out in the table below the microorganisms accepted for deposit.

In its public collection and its bank for confidential deposits, CCOS currently manages strains of bacteria, yeasts and filamentous mushrooms cultures that all reach biosafety level 2.

Moreover, it manages a collection of cyanobacteria and cell cultures.

CCOS can thus only accommodate species of microorganisms up to biosafety level 2 inclusive that are culturable with currently available methods and can be stored in the long term using the standard techniques, such as freeze-drying or storage in the gaseous phase of liquid nitrogen.  Storage of cultures requiring constant re-proliferation will be provided only on payment of a surcharge.

CCOS also offers the establishment and preservation of biological material;  in this case, the identity of materials produced by CCOS must be confirmed separately by the depositor.  Apart from microorganisms, CCOS already preserves animal and human cell lines in secure and confidential conditions, as well as the primary cell lines of various customers.

The table below shows the organisms accepted for deposit and the quantity of samples to be provided by the depositor within the framework of "Patent Deposit".

Accepted organisms Temperature and form of preservation Quantity of samples to be deposited [1] Propagation and conservation suggested by CCOS
Bacteria
(incl. cyanobacteria)
-196°C, cryoculture[2]
- 80°C, cryoculture
4°C, lyophilisate

21 or 2 Yes
Cultures of animal cells

-196°C, cryoculture

21 or 2 Yes (ZHAW[3])
Cultures of human cells

-196°C, cryoculture 21 or 2 Yes (ZHAW)
Nucleic acids
(DNA, RNA, plasmids)

- 80°C, vials[4]
- 20°C, vials
21 No
Fungi
(incl. yeasts and molds)
-196°C, cryoculture
- 80°C, cryoculture
4°C, lyophilisate

21 or 2 Yes
Algae

-196°C, cryoculture 21 No
Bacteriophages

-196°C, cryoculture 21 No
Nematodes

-196°C, cryoculture 21 No
Protozoa -196°C, cryoculture 21 No

7. Working languages

In accordance with Rule 3.1(b)(v) of the Regulations, the official languages of CCOS are: English, German, French and Italian.

8. Technical requirements and procedures

In accordance with Rule 6.3(a) of the Regulations, CCOS requires that:

- that the microorganism be deposited in the form and quantity necessary for the purposes of the Treaty and the Regulations;

- that the ad hoc form established by the CCOS is duly completed by the depositor;

- that the written statement referred to in Rule 6.1(a) or 6.2(a) be drafted in one of the languages, specified in section 7 above;

- that the fee for storage be paid; and

- that, to the extent permitted by the applicable law, the depositor sign the "Patent Deposit" contract with CCOS defining the respective liabilities of the parties.

In accordance with the Regulations, CCOS will:

- verify the viability of each deposit and will store it;

- issue receipts, viability statements and other requisite official notices;

- conform to the secrecy required by Rule 9.2;  and

- furnish the samples under the conditions and according to the procedures envisaged in Rule 11.

9. Schedule of fees

i) for preservation: CHF
ii)      
  a) storage for 30 years for microorganisms and cell cultures 2’500
  b) storage for 30 years for DNA at –80°C 1’500
iii) issuance of the attestation referred to in Rule 8.2 50
iv) issuance of viability statements 50
v) furnishing of samples of microorganisms or cell cultures 250
vi) communication of information under Rule 7.6 50

Notes:

CCOS undertakes to furnish appropriately and in good time the samples of microorganisms deposited in accordance with Article 6(2)(viii) of the Treaty and Rule 2.3 of the Regulations.

The list above covers the basic services.  A surcharge may be required for deposits which require special conditions or care.

These charges are subject to value-added tax (VAT) according to the Swiss regulations in force.


[1] If the propagation of the material can be carried out by CCOS, two samples are necessary.

[2] Cryoculture:  cryovials of 2 ml with 1 to 2 ml of microorganisms provided with the corresponding antifreeze medium.  Number of cells advised for cultures of animal and human cells >106 ml, and >109 ml for bacteria.

[3] The culture takes place in the laboratories of ZHAW.

[4] Suitable containers for samples; recommended concentration: 100 ng/container.