PCT Receiving Office Guidelines

Chapter IX: Nucleotide and/or Amino Acid Sequence Listing

Procedure in the case of disclosure of sequences in a non-compliant file format

222A.  Where the applicant furnishes a separate electronic file disclosing sequences in a format other than ST.26 XML (e.g. ST.25 TXT or PDF) on the same date as the international application, the receiving Office seeks clarification from the applicant on whether the content of the file is intended to form part of the description and invites the applicant (Form PCT/RO/132) to furnish the content within a reasonable time limit in the format accepted for the main part of the description if necessary.  For example, in the case of an ST.25 TXT file, the applicant may furnish the identical content as PDF sheets for inclusion in the main part of the description without affecting the international filing date.  The receiving Office may additionally require a statement from the applicant that the content of the document resubmitted in the accepted format is identical to that of the electronic file originally submitted.  Alternatively, the receiving Office may convert the file into the acceptable format (e.g. PDF) and invite the applicant to confirm that the content of the file is intended to form part of the description and pay any applicable fee relating to the pages (Form PCT/RO/132) within a reasonable time limit.

222B.  If the applicant confirms that the content of the file is intended to form part of the description, the receiving Office marks in the upper right-hand corner of the furnished (or converted) sheets the international application number and the date on which it was received (or agreed to be converted).  The receiving Office marks the middle of the bottom margin the words “SUBSTITUTE SHEET” and renumbers those sheets ex officio as pages of the description, failing which the sheets will be renumbered by the International Bureau.  The total number of pages indicated in the check list should be corrected and the payment of an additional fee for sheets in excess of 30 may be required (paragraphs 235 to 273).  Any payment received by the receiving Office within the time limit will be considered as confirmation that the content is to form part of the description.  If the applicant fails to confirm or pay any applicable fee within the time limit, the content of the separate electronic file will not be considered as part of the international application.

222C.  The receiving Office checks that the check list reflects any originally submitted content not forming part of the description as an accompanying item in Box No. IX, item 9.  The Office transmits any originally submitted electronic file disclosing sequences in ST.25 TXT format to the International Bureau.